Why we did it

“When I look at myself, I feel sorry. But when I compare myself, I console myself…”, says popular wisdom. This is the approach that has guided this research, at a time when a theme tends to invade the debate: that of the decline of France. Is our country in full decline? On this complex subject, I wanted to take a step back and see how the world looks at us. I have therefore reviewed the major reference studies, carried out by the United Nations or the World Bank. I also tried to see if our position has deteriorated over the past five or ten years. These studies are numerous. Each has its own biases. But by crossing many sources, it is possible to draw the image of a country that is not doing so badly. This does not, of course, prevent us from pointing out a number of shortcomings and suffering: the deindustrialisation of our country, its abysmal trade deficit and the persistence of a population that remains on the margins of the labor market. But looking at these figures helps to bring some reason back into a debate fueled by emotions. The French don’t have that many arguments to be sorry for the results they obtain in the major world rankings.


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