Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

France

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Spider chart showing France's score in connectivity, human capital, digital public services, use of internet and integration of digital technology compared to the EU average score
Find here the most recent analysis and data by country. A selection of key documents and graphs are shown about topics such as broadband, internet activity and skills, egovernment, ICT in schools, research and innovation, as well as other main indicators.
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France has an overall score[1] of 0.48 and ranks 14th out of the 28 EU Member States. In the past year, France has improved its general score in value (from 0.45 to 0.48), but has stagnated in rank. France has made progress (in score) in each of the main five dimensions of the DESI index. However in terms of connectivity, France loses rank (from 14th to 19th), due to greater progress (on average) by the rest of Europe. On Connectivity, French households are fully covered by fixed broadband and 74% of households subscribe to fixed broadband. However only 41% of French households have access to fast broadband. On Human Capital, France counts 80% of Internet users in the population and 67% of citizens with at least basic skills; however, only 2.1% of persons employed can claim "ICT specialist skills". On Use of the Internet, it seems French people don't use the Internet much to communicate (France lags behind in video calls and social networks), but they are keen online shoppers (73% shop online) and online TV and video consumers for which France ranks first in Europe. Integration of Digital Technologies by businesses is the area in which France has its weakest value; however, the country fares quite well in online public services, for example 39% of general practitioners exchange medical data electronically (36% in the EU), while 28% of general practitioners transfer prescriptions to pharmacists electronically.

France falls into the cluster of medium‑performance[2] countries, where it performs below average.

 
DESIFranceClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015140.480.510.47
DESI 2014140.450.470.44

1. Connectivity

1 ConnectivityFranceClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015190.510.60.55
DESI 2014140.490.540.51

 

Connectivity is the DESI 2015 dimension where France performs worst in rank (but Integration is worse in score). With an overall connectivity score of 0.51 the country ranks 19th among EU countries. French households are fully covered (100% coverage) by fixed broadband and 74% of households subscribe to fixed broadband. However only 41% of French households benefit from NGA (Next Generation Access or fast broadband networks providing at least 30 Mbps); moreover only 9.4% of French households with a subscription to fixed broadband actually choose a high-speed connection.

 

 FranceEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
100%
(2013)
 7100%
(2013)
797%
(2013)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
74%
(2014)
 976%
(2013)
670%
(2014)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
59
(2014)
 1644
(2013)
2167
(2014)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
64%
(2014)
 2164%
(2013)
1970%
(2014)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
41%
(2013)
 2541%
(2013)
2562%
(2013)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
9.4%
(2014)
 237.4%
(2013)
2422%
(2014)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
0.98%
(2014)
 41.3%
(2013)
101.3%
(2014)

 

Broadband in France is available to all households (100%). Take-up of fixed broadband (74%) is above EU average (70%) and take-up of mobile broadband has improved (from 44% to 59%) although still below the EU average (67%).

France needs to progress in its fast broadband (>= 30Mbps) environment: only 41% of households are covered by high-speed broadband (last available data: Dec. 2013) and a small 9.4% have a high-speed subscription (far below the EU average of 22%, therefore France ranks 23rd out of 28), limiting France's ability to exploit the benefits of the digital economy.

In order to tackle the problem of the coverage of high speed broadband, the French government has adopted the "Plan Très Haut Débit" and set up the "Mission France Très Haut Débit" with a view to an integral coverage of the national territory by 2022 (mostly with fibre connections).

2. Human Capital

2 Human CapitalFranceClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015110.580.570.54
DESI 2014100.570.540.52

 

With a Human Capital score of 0.58, France ranks 11th among EU countries, although it performs slightly better than in the previous year in score (from 0.57 to 0.58) but slightly worse in rank (from 10th to 11th).

 

 FranceEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
80%
(2014)
 1078%
(2013)
975%
(2014)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
67%
(2014)
 965%
(2012)
759%
(2014)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
2.1%
(2013)
 212.1%
(2012)
212.8%
(2013)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
22
(2012)
 322
(2012)
317
(2012)

 

With 80% of Internet users in the population and 67% of citizens with at least basic skills, France performs better than the rest of Europe on average (75% and 59% respectively) and therefore ranks 10th and 9th respectively.

With a rate of 2.1% of persons employed, the share of persons employed with "ICT specialist skills" stands below the EU average of 2.8%. Moreover, no progress has been made in increasing the share of persons employed with "ICT specialist skills" since last year.

On the contrary, with a rate of 22 per 1000 individuals (between 20 and 29 years old) with a STEM (Sciences, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) graduate degree and a rank of 3rd (among 28 member states), France performs better than the main EU member states (UK, DE, IT …) in terms of high-level training in scientific matters (and above the EU average of 17).

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of InternetFranceClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015110.460.440.41
DESI 2014120.440.420.39

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, France scores 0.46 (up from 0.44 last year) and ranks 11th among EU countries. In relative terms, French citizens appear to refrain most from using the Internet when they need to communicate, as suggested by the fact that France lags behind both in video calls and social networks.

 

 FranceEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
46%
(2014)
 2750%
(2013)
2667%
(2014)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
47%
(2014)
 2041%
(2012)
2449%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
77%
(2013)
 177%
(2013)
139%
(2013)
3a4 IPTV
% households that have a TV
50%
(2013)
 150%
(2013)
113%
(2013)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
36%
(2014)
 2129%
(2013)
2337%
(2014)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
46%
(2014)
 2846%
(2013)
2858%
(2014)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
69%
(2014)
 1070%
(2013)
857%
(2014)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
73%
(2014)
 870%
(2013)
863%
(2014)

 

French Internet users engage in a broad range of online activities. Engagement among French people shows a contrasted situation between the different activities.

While French people are keen to use online media (Video on Demand, IPTV) for which France ranks 1st in Europe, they are very reluctant to engage into social activities online. The share of French Internet users that use social networks (46% to be compared with an EU average of 58%) is the lowest of all EU countries. In the same way, French people are amongst the weakest internet users in terms of consulting news (score of 46%, 27th rank: last but one in Europe) and using Internet for Music / Videos / Games (score of 47%, 20th rank in Europe).

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital TechnologyFranceClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015160.310.370.33
DESI 2014200.280.340.3

 

In Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, France scores 0.31, its weakest score in value (but not in rank) among the five DESI 2015 dimensions. France’s businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) need to better exploit the possibilities offered by online sales and by cross-border sales.

 

 FranceEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
35%
(2014)
 1333%
(2013)
931%
(2014)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
2.7%
(2014)
 241.3%
(2011)
203.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
n.a. -7.1%
(2013)
2514%
(2014)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
n.a. -9.5%
(2013)
1711%
(2014)
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
7.5%
(2014)
 18n.a.-11%
(2014)
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
11%
(2014)
 1811%
(2013)
1615%
(2014)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
9.4%
(2014)
 129.7%
(2013)
68.8%
(2014)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
5.2%
(2013)
 195.2%
(2013)
196.5%
(2013)

 

A true digital economy is one where businesses take full advantage of the possibilities and benefits offered by digital technologies to improve their efficiency and productivity, as well as to reach costumers and realise sales. In this respect, the adoption of e-Business practices by French companies shows a contrasted situation.

The adoption of digital technologies is an important driver of labour productivity growth and needs to be strengthened. French companies have relatively well integrated electronic information sharing (35% of all companies, ranking 13th among 28 EU member states).

On the contrary, French businesses fare badly in terms of adoption of advanced technologies: Radio-Frequency IDentification (only 2.7% of all companies against an EU average of 3.8%, 24th rank) and cloud computing (only 7.5% against an EU average of 11%, 18th rank).

French SMEs seem to lag behind in many respects: only 11% of SMEs sell online (18th rank, EU average: 15%) and only 5.2% of SMEs sell cross-border via Internet (19th rank, EU average: 6.5%).

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public ServicesFranceClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201580.530.490.47
DESI 2014120.450.450.45

 

Digital Public Services is the dimension where France performs best of all DESI 2015 dimensions. With a score of 0.53, France ranks 8th among EU countries, an improvement in both score and rank from the previous year.

 

 FranceEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
52%
(2014)
 638%
(2013)
933%
(2014)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
27
(2014)
 2028
(2013)
2245
(2014)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
80
(2014)
 1375
(2013)
1375
(2014)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
540
(2014)
 3n.a.-380
(2014)
5b1 Medical Data Exchange
% General Practitioners
39%
(2013)
 1039%
(2013)
1036%
(2013)
5b2 ePrescription
% General Practitioners
28%
(2013)
 928%
(2013)
927%
(2013)

 

Modern public services offered online in an efficient manner are a vehicle for reducing public spending as well as for driving efficiency gains for enterprises, citizens, and the public administration. France fares quite well in online public services. Its indicator scores place it among the top performers in the EU: 52% of internet users interact online with public authorities by sending filled-in forms (6th rank, EU average: 33%). However some weakness can be observed in terms of prefilled forms with a score of 27 (20th rank, EU average: 45).

Regarding the efficiency and level of service offered by health systems, France’s performance places it high among the EU Member States in terms of medical data exchange (39% of French general practitioners exchange medical data electronically, versus 36% in the EU). France presents a good performance in ePrescription too, where 28% of its general practitioners transfer prescriptions to pharmacists electronically, reaching the 9th rank among EU countries.

 

[1] DESI scores range from 0 to 1, the higher the score the better the country performance.

[2] In the DESI 2015, the medium-performance cluster of countries comprises Austria, Belgium, the Czech republic, Deutschland, Estonia, Spain, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom.

 

Figures from 2013

 Download the country profile for 2013 as a pdf

  Download country information for 2013 as a power point presentation

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Last updated on 27/04/2015