On the basis of available statistics the French record in the field of electrical power does not seem to match that of other major industrial nations. Production according to official sources did not amount to more than 0.4 billion Kwh at the turn of the century and 1.8 billion Kwh in 1915–19. This is less than 4% of the 30 billion Kwh produced over the same period by Germany, the U.K. and the U.S., taken together. Of course, statistics were quite defective in those early years. They were improved only in 1923 when the French census included for the first time all productive facilities, instead of a sample restricted to the larger electrical plants as in earlier periods. Nevertheless, the gap was a real and persistent one, as indicated by the fact that French output of electrical power only improved (by 5-year averages) from 7.5 to 20 billion Kwh in the interwar years, while that of the three major countries went up from 90 to 230 billion Kwh, leaving the ratio unchanged at 8.4%. In a way it might not seem fair to compare economies so different in terms of population size. But on a per capita basis, output remained at 325 Kwh in 1920–24 and 480 Kwh in 1935–39, i.e. in both cases at only 53% of the three major countries. And the ratios are similar when total energy consumption or domestic consumption (i.e. the use of electric appliances, including light, by households) is used as an indicator.