France comprises 96 departments on the European continent, 5 overseas departments (DOM): Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Reunion Island and Mayotte (since april 2011), and the following territories: New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, scattered islands in the Indian Ocean and a territory with a specific status: Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
In the dissemination process of statistics, a distinction is made between three geographical definitions of France to take account of the geographic coverage of the statistical outputs:
- Metropolitan France, which includes the 96 departments on the European continent. All the statistics are available for this territory. In the national accounts, this was the reference geographical territory until the 1980 base: trade between Metropolitan France and the overseas departments was considered as foreign trade at that time;
- Metropolitan France and the overseas departments, in total 101 departments. They are part of the European Union (EU). This has been the reference economic territory for the national accounts from the 1995 base on (first accounts relating to the year 1998, disseminated in 1999);
- The territory of the French Republic, which includes Metropolitan France, the 5 overseas departments, and those which are not part of the European Union: New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, scattered islands in the Indian Ocean and the territory with a specific status Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Those last ones are not part of European Union. They are considered as foreign trade in the national accounts.
By convention, statistical publications often use the expression "Whole France" or « France » to designate the geographical area comprising Metropolitan France and the 5 Overseas Departments : Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Reunion Island and Mayotte.