Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

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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Clicking the links below you can visualize various indicators for this country

performance charts | table of indicators  | indicators' evolution over time

Download

 Download the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) country profile as a pdf (EN); summary pdf (FR)

Download country's main indicators as a power point presentation (EN)

 Download the European Digital Progress Report (EDPR*) country report as a pdf (EN) (FR)

 Download the EDPR telecom factsheets as a pdf (EN)

*The EDPR report combines the quantitative evidence from DESI (Digital Economy and Society Index) with country-specific policy insights, allowing us to keep track of the progress made in terms of digitalisation by each Member State and providing an important feedback loop for policy-making at EU level.

 

 

France has an overall score[1] of 0.51 and ranks 16th out of the 28 EU Member States. In the past year, France has maintained its general score in value (0.51), but has regressed by two positions in rank. As a matter of fact, France has lost his position in terms of Connectivity, Human capital, and Digital public service. On Connectivity, all French households are covered by fixed broadband and 71% of households subscribe to fixed broadband. However only 45% of French households have access to fast broadband. In Human Capital, France counts 81% of Internet users in the population and 57% of citizens with at least basic skills; however, only 3.5% of persons are employed the way they can claim "ICT specialist skills". On Use of the Internet, it seems French people don't use it much to communicate (France lags behind in video calls and social networks), but they are keen online shoppers (74% shop online) and online TV and video consumers for which France ranks first in Europe. Integration of Digital Technologies by businesses is the area where France has its weakest value. However, the country fares quite well in online public services.

France falls into the cluster of falling-behind[2] countries, where it performs above average (FR’s score was slightly lower than the EU average and over the last year the score grew at a slower pace than the EU. As such, FR is part of the falling behind cluster of countries)

 

DESI France Cluster EU
rank score score score
DESI 2016 16 0.51 0.44 0.52
DESI 2015 14 0.51 0.44 0.5

1. Connectivity

1 Connectivity France Cluster EU
rank score score score
DESI 2016 20 0.53 0.51 0.59
DESI 2015 18 0.53 0.5 0.57

 

With an overall connectivity score of 0.53 the country ranks 20th among EU countries. French households are fully covered (100% coverage) by fixed broadband and 71% of households subscribe to fixed broadband. However only 45% of French households benefit from NGA (Next Generation Access or fast broadband networks providing at least 30 Mbps); moreover only 15% of French households with a subscription to fixed broadband actually choose a high-speed connection.

 

  France EU
DESI 2016 DESI 2015 DESI 2016
value rank value rank value
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
100%
(June 2015)
  8 100%
(December 2014)
8 97%
(June 2015)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
71%
(2015)
  12 74%
(2014)
9 72%
(2015)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
73
(June 2015)
  11 64
(December 2014)
15 75
(June 2015)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
61%
(December 2015)
  21 64%
(December 2014)
21 69%
(December 2015)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
45%
(June 2015)
  26 43%
(December 2014)
26 71%
(June 2015)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
15%
(June 2015)
  24 12%
(December 2014)
23 30%
(June 2015)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
0.91%
(Access cost: 2015; Income: 2014)
  5 0.87%
(Access cost: 2014; Income: 2014)
3 1.3%
(Access cost: 2015; Income: 2014)

 

Broadband in France is available to all households (100%). Take-up of fixed broadband (71%) is slightly below EU average (72%) and take-up of mobile broadband has markedly improved (from 64 per 100 people to 73) although still below the EU average (75).

France needs to progress in its fast broadband (>= 30Mbps) environment: only 45% of households are covered by high-speed broadband (last available data: June 2015) and a small 15% have a high-speed subscription (far below the EU average of 30%, therefore France ranks 24th out of 28 and makes slow progress), 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 Capital France Cluster EU
rank score score score
DESI 2016 12 0.63 0.5 0.59
DESI 2015 10 0.65 0.48 0.58

 

With a Human Capital score of 0.63, France ranks 12th among EU countries. It performs slightly lower than last year in score (from 0.65 to 0.63) and in rank (from 10th to 12th).

 

  France EU
DESI 2016 DESI 2015 DESI 2016
value rank value rank value
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
81%
(2015)
  10 80%
(2014)
10 76%
(2015)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
57%
(2015)
  12 n.a. - 55%
(2015)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
3.5%
(2014)
  17 3.5%
(2013)
17 3.7%
(2014)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
23
(2013)
  2 23
(2012)
2 18
(2013)

 

With 81% of Internet users in the population and 57% of citizens with at least basic skills, France performs better than the rest of Europe on average (76% and 55% respectively) and therefore ranks 10th and 12th respectively.

With a rate of 3.5% of persons employed, the share of persons employed with "ICT specialist skills" stands below the EU average of 3.7%. 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 23 per 1000 individuals (between 20 and 29 years old) with a STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduate degree and a rank of 2rd (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, although there was no progress over the last year.

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of Internet France Cluster EU
rank score score score
DESI 2016 17 0.43 0.43 0.45
DESI 2015 17 0.42 0.42 0.43

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, France scores 0.43 (up from 0.42 last year) and ranks 17th 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.

 

  France EU
DESI 2016 DESI 2015 DESI 2016
value rank value rank value
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
50%
(2015)
  27 46%
(2014)
27 68%
(2015)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
47%
(2014)
  20 47%
(2014)
20 49%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
79%
(2014)
  1 79%
(2014)
1 41%
(2014)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
30%
(2015)
  26 n.a. - 37%
(2015)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
45%
(2015)
  28 46%
(2014)
28 63%
(2015)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
69%
(2015)
  9 69%
(2014)
10 57%
(2015)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
74%
(2015)
  8 73%
(2014)
8 65%
(2015)

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) 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 (45% to be compared with an EU average of 63%) 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 50%, 27th rank: last but one in Europe) and using Internet for Music / Videos / Games (score of 47%, 20th rank in Europe).

However they don't hesitate to carry out transactions online, as France scores well in online banking and shopping.

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital Technology France Cluster EU
rank score score score
DESI 2016 18 0.34 0.29 0.36
DESI 2015 21 0.28 0.31 0.33

 

Integration of Digital Technology by businesses is the DESI 2016 dimension where France performs worst in score. France’s businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need to better exploit the possibilities offered by online sales and by cross-border sales.

 

  France EU
DESI 2016 DESI 2015 DESI 2016
value rank value rank value
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
39%
(2015)
  10 35%
(2014)
13 36%
(2015)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
2.7%
(2014)
  24 2.7%
(2014)
24 3.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
12%
(2015)
  20 n.a. - 18%
(2015)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
n.a.   - n.a. - n.a.
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
n.a.   - 7.5%
(2014)
18 n.a.
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
16%
(2015)
  13 11%
(2014)
19 16%
(2015)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
11%
(2015)
  10 9.4%
(2014)
11 9.4%
(2015)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
7.9%
(2015)
  15 5.2%
(2013)
19 7.5%
(2015)

 

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 (39% of all companies, ranking 10th 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%, 18th rank).

French SMEs takes an average position but have improved their situation: 16% (11% in 2014) of SMEs sell online (13th rank, just in the EU average), and 7.9% (5.2% in 2013) of SMEs sell cross-border via Internet (15th rank, EU average: 7.5%).

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public Services France Cluster EU
rank score score score
DESI 2016 13 0.59 0.45 0.55
DESI 2015 11 0.61 0.47 0.54

 

Digital Public Services is a dimension where France performs fairly well. With a score of 0.59, France ranks 13th among EU countries, two ranks down from last year.

 

  France EU
DESI 2016 DESI 2015 DESI 2016
value rank value rank value
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
48%
(2015)
  7 n.a. - 32%
(2015)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
27
(2015)
  20 27
(2014)
20 49
(2015)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
86
(2015)
  12 80
(2014)
13 81
(2015)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
435
(2015)
  8 535
(2014)
3 351
(2015)

 

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 fairly well in online public services. Its indicator scores place it among the top performers in the EU: 48% of internet users interact online with public authorities by sending filled-in forms (7th rank, EU average: 32%). However some weakness can be observed in terms of prefilled forms with a score of 27 (20th rank, EU average: 49).

 

6. R&D

 Download information on R&D in the ICT sector and participation in Horizon 2020 (EN)


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

[2] In the DESI 2016, the falling-behind cluster of countries comprises Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, France, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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