Departments of France

In the administrative divisions of France, the department (French: département, pronounced [depaʁt(ə)mɑ̃]) is one of the three levels of government below the national level ("territorial collectivities"), between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; the last two have no autonomy, and are used for the organisation of police, fire departments, and sometimes, elections.

Each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council (conseil départemental [sing.], conseils départementaux [plur.]). From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils (conseil général [sing.], conseils généraux [plur.]).[1] Each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school (collège) buildings and technical staff, and local roads and school and rural buses, and a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; however, regions have gained importance in this regard since the 2000s, with some department-level services merged into region-level services.

The departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity; the title "department" is used to mean a part of a larger whole. Almost all of them were named after physical geographical features (rivers, mountains, or coasts), rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project particularly identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had already been frequently discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers. The earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in many countries, some of them former French colonies.

Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number. The number is used, for example, in the postal code, and was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents commonly use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are generally referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments. For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45".

In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, and to transfer their powers to other levels of governance. This reform project has since been abandoned.


France départementale
The 101 departments of France, prior to the 2018 merger of Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse
Geometrical proposition rejected
Départements et provinces de France
French provinces (color) and
departments (black borders) in 1791

The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées (Bridges and Highways) infrastructure administration.[2]

Before the French Revolution, France gained territory gradually through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved, partly in order to weaken old loyalties.

The modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure. Their boundaries served two purposes:

  • Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation.
  • Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department. This was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government.
Map administrative divisions of the First French Empire 1812-en
Departments at the maximum extent of the First French Empire (1812)

The old nomenclature was carefully avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after an area's principal river or other physical features. Even Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc.[3]

The number of departments, initially 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire.[4] Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86 (three of the original departments having been split). In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department. The 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names.

The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle, Vosges and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin however remained French and became known as the Territoire de Belfort; the remaining parts of Meurthe and Moselle were merged into a new Meurthe-et-Moselle department. When France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department. Likewise, the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, and a new Moselle department was created in the regained territory, with slightly different boundaries from the pre-war department of the same name.

The re-organisation of Île-de-France in 1968 and the division of Corsica in 1975 added six more departments, raising the total in Metropolitan France to 96. By 2011, when the overseas collectivity of Mayotte became a department, joining the earlier overseas departments of the Republic (all created in 1946) – French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion – the total number of departments in the French Republic had become 101. In 2015, the Urban Community of Lyon was split from Rhône to form the Métropole de Lyon, a sui generis entity, with the powers of both an intercommunality and those of a department on its territory, formally classified as a "territorial collectivity with particular status" (French: collectivité territoriale à statut particulier) and as such not belonging to any department. In 2018, the two departments of Corsica re-merged to form a single territorial collectivity (simultaneously region and department), reducing the number of departments to 100.

General characteristics

Government and administration

Administration territoriale française
Administrative divisions of France

The departmental seat of government is known as the prefecture (préfecture) or chef-lieu de département and is generally a town of some importance roughly at the geographical centre of the department. This was determined according to the time taken to travel on horseback from the periphery of the department. The goal was for the prefecture to be accessible on horseback from any town in the department within 24 hours. The prefecture is not necessarily the largest city in the department: for instance, in Saône-et-Loire department the capital is Mâcon, but the largest city is Chalon-sur-Saône. Departments may be divided into arrondissements. The capital of an arrondissement is called a subprefecture (sous-préfecture) or chef-lieu d'arrondissement.

Each department is administered by a departmental council (conseil départemental), an assembly elected for six years by universal suffrage, with the President of the Departmental Council as executive of the department. Before 1982, the chief executive of the department was the prefect (préfet), who represents the Government of France in each department and is appointed by the President of the French Republic. The prefect is assisted by one or more sub-prefects (sous-préfet) based in the subprefectures of the department. Since 1982, the prefect retains only the powers that are not delegated to the department councils. In practice, his role has been largely limited to preventing local policy from conflicting with national policy.

The departments are further divided into communes, governed by municipal councils. As of 2013, there were 36,681 communes in France. In the overseas territories, some communes play a role at departmental level. Paris, the country's capital city, is a commune as well as a department.

Carte démographique de la France
Population density in the departments (2007), showing the northeast to southwest empty diagonal

In continental France (metropolitan France, excluding Corsica), the median land area of a department is 5,965 km2 (2,303 sq mi), which is two-and-a-half times the median land area of the ceremonial counties of England and the preserved counties of Wales and slightly more than three-and-half times the median land area of a county of the United States. At the 2001 census, the median population of a department in continental France was 511,012 inhabitants, which is 21 times the median population of a United States county, but less than two-thirds of the median population of a ceremonial county of England and Wales. Most of the departments have an area of between 4,000 and 8,000 km², and a population between 320,000 and 1 million. The largest in area is Gironde (10,000 km²), while the smallest is the city of Paris (105 km²). The most populous is Nord (2,550,000) and the least populous is Lozère (74,000).


The departments are numbered: their two-digit numbers appear in postal codes, in INSEE codes (including "social security numbers") and on vehicle number plates. Initially, the numbers corresponded to the alphabetical order of the names of the departments, but several changed their names, so the correspondence became less exact. There is no number 20, but 2A and 2B instead, for Corsica. Corsican postal codes for addresses in both departments do still start with 20. The two-digit code "98" is used by Monaco. Together with the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code FR, the numbers form the ISO 3166-2 country subdivision codes for the metropolitan departments. The overseas departments get three digits.

Relation to national government

Originally, the relationship between the departments and the central government was left somewhat ambiguous. While citizens in each department elected their own officials, the local governments were subordinated to the central government, becoming instruments of national integration. By 1793, however, the revolutionary government had turned the departments into transmission belts for policies enacted in Paris. With few exceptions, the departments had this role until the early 1960s.

Party political preferences

These maps cannot be used as a useful resource of voter preferences, because Departmental Councils are elected on a two-round system, which drastically limits the chances of fringe parties, if they are not supported on one of the two rounds by a moderate party. After the 1992 election, the left had a majority in only 21 of the 100 departments; after the 2011 election, the left dominated 61 of the 100 departments. (Mayotte only became a department after the election.)

Cantonales 1998(dom)

Party affiliation of the General Council Presidents of the various departments in the cantonal elections of 1998.

Cantonales 2001

Party affiliation of the General Council Presidents of the various departments in the elections of 2001.

Cantonales 2004

Party affiliation of the General Council Presidents of the various departments in the elections of 2004.

Conseils généraux 2008

Party affiliation of the General Council Presidents of the various departments in the elections of 2008.

Conseils généraux 2011

Party affiliation of the General Council Presidents of the various departments in the elections of 2011.

Presidents of French departments current

Party affiliation of the General Council Presidents of the various departments in the elections of 2015.

Key to the parties:


The removal of one or more levels of local government has been discussed for some years; in particular, the option of removing the departmental level. Frédéric Lefebvre, spokesman for the UMP, said in December 2008 that the fusion of the departments with the regions was a matter to be dealt with soon. This was soon refuted by Édouard Balladur and Gérard Longuet, members of the Committee for the reform of local authorities, known as the Balladur Committee.[5]

In January 2008, the Attali Commission recommended that the departmental level of government should be eliminated within ten years.[6]

Nevertheless, the Balladur Committee has not retained this proposition and does not advocate the disappearance of the departments, but simply "favors the voluntary grouping of departments", which it suggests also for the regions, with the aim of reducing the number of regions to 15.[7] This committee advocates, on the contrary, the suppression of the cantons.[7]

Maps and tables

Current departments

Each department has a coat of arms with which it is commonly associated, though not all are officially recognized or used.

Départements de France English
Regions and departments of metropolitan France; the numbers are those of the first column
Petite couronne-2
The departments in the immediate vicinity of Paris; the numbers are those of the first column

Former departments

Former departments of the current territory of France

Department Prefecture Dates in existence
Rhône-et-Loire Lyon 1790–1793 Split into Rhône and Loire on 12 August 1793.
Corsica Bastia 1790–1793 Split into Golo and Liamone.
Golo Bastia 1793–1811 Reunited with Liamone into Corsica.
Liamone Ajaccio 1793–1811 Reunited with Golo into Corsica.
Mont-Blanc Chambéry 1792–1815 Formed from part of the Duchy of Savoy, a territory of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and was restored to Piedmont-Sardinia after Napoleon's defeat. The department corresponds approximately with the present French departments Savoie and Haute-Savoie.
Léman Geneva 1798–1814 Formed when the Republic of Geneva was annexed into the First French Empire. Geneva was added to territory taken from several other departments to create Léman. The department corresponds with the present Swiss canton and parts of the present French departments Ain and Haute-Savoie.
Meurthe Nancy 1790–1871 Meurthe ceased to exist following the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by the German Empire in 1871 and was not recreated after the province was restored to France by the Treaty of Versailles.
Seine Paris 1790–1967 On 1 January 1968, Seine was divided into four new departments: Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne (the last incorporating a small amount of territory from Seine-et-Oise as well). Was department number 75.
Seine-et-Oise Versailles 1790–1967 On 1 January 1968, Seine-et-Oise was divided into four new departments: Yvelines, Val-d'Oise, Essonne, Val-de-Marne (the last largely comprising territory from Seine). Was department number 78.
Corsica Ajaccio 1811–1975 On 15 September 1975, Corsica was divided in two, to form Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse. Was department number 20.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint-Pierre 1976–1985 Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon was an overseas department from 1976 until it was converted to an overseas collectivity on 11 June 1985. INSEE code 975.
Corse-du-Sud Ajaccio 1975–2018 Reunited with Haute-Corse into Corsica. Was INSEE code 2A.
Haute-Corse Bastia 1975–2018 Reunited with Corse-du-Sud into Corsica. Was INSEE code 2B.

Departments of Algeria (Départements d'Algérie)

Algérie fr
The three Algerian departments in 1848
Map showing the Départements of Algeria from 1962-1968 and 1968-1974
Departments of French Algeria from 1957 to 1962

Unlike the rest of French-controlled Africa, Algeria was divided into overseas departments from 1848 until its independence in 1962. These departments were supposed to be "assimilated" or "integrated" to France sometime in the future.

Before 1957
No. Department Prefecture Dates of existence
91 Alger Algiers (1848–1957)
92 Oran Oran (1848–1957)
93 Constantine Constantine (1848–1957)
Bône Annaba (1955–1957)
No. Department Prefecture Dates of existence
8A Oasis Ouargla (1957–1962)
8B Saoura Béchar (1957–1962)
9A Alger Algiers (1957–1962)
9B Batna Batna (1957–1962)
9C Bône Annaba (1955–1962)
9D Constantine Constantine (1957–1962)
9E Médéa Médéa (1957–1962)
9F Mostaganem Mostaganem (1957–1962)
9G Oran Oran (1957–1962)
9H Orléansville Chlef (1957–1962)
9J Sétif Sétif (1957–1962)
9K Tiaret Tiaret (1957–1962)
9L Tizi Ouzou Tizi Ouzou (1957–1962)
9M Tlemcen Tlemcen (1957–1962)
9N Aumale Sour el Ghozlane (1958–1959)
9P Bougie Béjaïa (1958–1962)
9R Saïda Saïda (1958–1962)

Departments in former French colonies

Department Modern-day location Dates in existence
Département du Sud Hispaniola
(Haiti and the Dominican Republic)
Département de l'Inganne (Mostly in the Dominican Republic with eastern part of Haiti) 1795–1800
Département du Nord 1795–1800
Département de l'Ouest 1795–1800
Département de Samana (In the Dominican Republic) 1795–1800
Sainte-Lucie Saint Lucia, Tobago 1795–1800
Île de France Mauritius, Rodrigues, Seychelles 1795–1800
Indes-Orientales Pondichéry, Karikal, Yanaon, Mahé and Chandernagore 1795–1800

Departments of the Napoleonic Empire in Europe

There are a number of former departments in territories conquered by France during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire that are now not part of France:

Department Prefecture
(French name)
(English name)
Current location1 Contemporary location2 Dates in existence
Mont-Terrible Porrentruy Switzerland Holy Roman Empire: 1793–1800
Dyle Bruxelles Brussels Belgium Austrian Netherlands: 1795–1814
Escaut Gand Ghent Belgium
Austrian Netherlands:

Dutch Republic:

Forêts Luxembourg Luxembourg
Austrian Netherlands: 1795–1814
Jemmape Mons Belgium Austrian Netherlands:

Holy Roman Empire:

Lys Bruges Austrian Netherlands: 1795–1814
Meuse-Inférieure Maëstricht Maastricht Belgium
Austrian Netherlands:

Dutch Republic:

Holy Roman Empire:


Deux-Nèthes Anvers Antwerp Belgium Austrian Netherlands:

Dutch Republic:

Ourthe Liège Belgium
Austrian Netherlands:

Holy Roman Empire:

Sambre-et-Meuse Namur Belgium Austrian Netherlands:

Holy Roman Empire:

Corcyre Corfou Corfu Greece Republic of Venice4 1797–1799
Ithaque Argostoli 1797–1798
Mer-Égée Zante Zakynthos 1797–1798
Mont-Tonnerre Mayence Mainz Germany Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Rhin-et-Moselle Coblence Koblenz Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Roer Aix-la-Chapelle Aachen Germany
Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Sarre Trèves Trier Belgium
Holy Roman Empire: 1801–1814
Doire Ivrée Ivrea Italy Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia 1802–1814
Marengo Alexandrie Alessandria 1802–1814
Turin 1802–1814
Sésia Verceil Vercelli 1802–1814
Stura Coni Cuneo 1802–1814
Tanaro6 Asti 1802–1805
Apennins Chiavari Republic of Genoa7 1805–1814
Gênes Gênes Genoa 1805–1814
Montenotte Savone Savona 1805–1814
Arno Florence Grand Duchy of Tuscany8 1808–1814
Méditerranée Livourne Livorno 1808–1814
Ombrone Sienne Siena 1808–1814
Taro Parme Parma Holy Roman Empire: 1808–1814
Rome9 Rome Papal States 1809–1814
Trasimène Spolète Spoleto 1809–1814
Bouches-du-Rhin Bois-le-Duc 's-Hertogenbosch Netherlands Dutch Republic:10 1810–1814
Bouches-de-l'Escaut Middelbourg Middelburg Dutch Republic:10 1810–1814
Simplon Sion Switzerland République des Sept-Dizains11 1810–1814
Bouches-de-la-Meuse La Haye The Hague Netherlands Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Bouches-de-l'Yssel Zwolle Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Ems-Occidental Groningue Groningen Netherlands
Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Ems-Oriental Aurich Germany Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Frise Leuwarden Leeuwarden Netherlands Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Yssel-Supérieur Arnhem Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Zuyderzée Amsterdam Dutch Republic:10 1811–1814
Bouches-de-l'Elbe Hambourg Hamburg Germany Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Bouches-du-Weser Brême Bremen Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Ems-Supérieur Osnabrück Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Lippe12 Munster Münster Holy Roman Empire: 1811–1814
Bouches-de-l'Èbre Lérida Lleida Spain Kingdom of Spain: 1812–1813
Montserrat Barcelone Barcelona 1812–1813
Sègre Puigcerda Puigcerdà 1812–1813
Ter Gérone Girona 1812–1813
Bouches-de-l'Èbre-Montserrat Barcelone Barcelona Previously the departments of Bouches-de-l'Èbre and Montserrat 1813–1814
Sègre-Ter Gérone Girona Previously the departments of Sègre and Ter 1813–1814

Notes for Table 7:

  1. Where a Napoleonic department was composed of parts from more than one country, the nation-state containing the prefecture is listed. Please expand this table to list all countries containing significant parts of the department.
  2. Territories that were a part of Austrian Netherlands were also a part of Holy Roman Empire.
  3. The Bishopric of Basel was a German Prince-Bishopric, not to be confused with the adjacent Swiss Canton of Basel.
  4. The territories of the Republic of Venice were lost to France, becoming the Septinsular Republic, a nominal vassal of the Ottoman Empire, from 1800–07. After reverting to France at the Treaty of Tilsit, these territories then became a British protectorate, as the United States of the Ionian Islands
  5. Maastricht was a condominium of the Dutch Republic and the Bishopric of Liège.
  6. On 6 June 1805, as a result of the annexation of the Ligurian Republic (the puppet successor state to the Republic of Genoa), Tanaro was abolished and its territory divided between the departments of Marengo, Montenotte and Stura.
  7. Before becoming the department of Apennins, the Republic of Genoa was converted to a puppet successor state, the Ligurian Republic.
  8. Before becoming the department of Arno, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was converted to a puppet successor state, the Kingdom of Etruria.
  9. Rome was known as the department du Tibre until 1810.
  10. Before becoming the departments of Bouches-du-Rhin, Bouches-de-l'Escaut, Bouches-de-la-Meuse, Bouches-de-l'Yssel, Ems-Occidental, Frise, Yssel-Supérieur and Zuyderzée, these territories of the Dutch Republic were converted to a puppet successor state, the Batavian Republic (1795–1806), then those territories that had not already been annexed (all except the first two departments here), along with the Prussian County of East Frisia, were converted to another puppet state, the Kingdom of Holland.
  11. Before becoming the department of Simplon, the République des Sept Dizains was converted to a revolutionary République du Valais (16 March 1798) which was swiftly incorporated (1 May 1798) into the puppet Helvetic Republic until 1802 when it became the independent Rhodanic Republic.
  12. In the months before Lippe was formed, the arrondissements of Rees and Münster were part of Yssel-Supérieur, the arrondissement of Steinfurt was part of Bouches-de-l'Yssel and the arrondissement of Neuenhaus was part of Ems-Occidental.

See also


  1. ^ Ministère de l'intérieur, Les élections départementales : comprendre ce qui change (in French), retrieved 30 July 2015
  2. ^ Masson, Jean-Louis (1984). "Provinces, départements, régions: L'organisation administrative de la France d'hier à demain". Google Livres (French Google Books site). Éditions Fernand Lanore. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  3. ^ Le nom des départements
  4. ^ See Provinces of the Netherlands for the annexed Dutch departments.
  5. ^ "La fusion département-région n'est pas à l'ordre du jour". L'Express. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  6. ^ Report of the Attali Commission "Decision 260", p. 197 (in French)
  7. ^ a b "Les 20 propositions du Comité (20 propositions of the Committee)" (in French). Committee for the reform of local authorities. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
Arrondissements of the Charente department

The 3 arrondissements of the Charente department are:

Arrondissement of Angoulême, (prefecture of the Charente department: Angoulême) with 115 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 196,993 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Cognac, (subprefecture: Cognac) with 110 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 92,032 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Confolens, (subprefecture: Confolens) with 141 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 64,457 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Cher department

The 3 arrondissements of the Cher department are:

Arrondissement of Bourges, (prefecture of the Cher department: Bourges) with 128 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 174,376 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Saint-Amand-Montrond, (subprefecture: Saint-Amand-Montrond) with 116 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 65,824 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Vierzon, (subprefecture: Vierzon) with 43 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 71,450 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Creuse department

The 2 arrondissements of the Creuse department are:

Arrondissement of Aubusson, (subprefecture: Aubusson) with 118 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 37,354 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Guéret, (prefecture of the Creuse department: Guéret) with 138 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 83,518 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Gard department

The 3 arrondissements of the Gard department are:

Arrondissement of Alès, (subprefecture: Alès) with 97 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 151,844 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Nîmes, (prefecture of the Gard department: Nîmes) with 180 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 544,941 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Le Vigan, (subprefecture: Le Vigan) with 74 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 36,416 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Haute-Vienne department

The 3 arrondissements of the Haute-Vienne department are:

Arrondissement of Bellac, (subprefecture: Bellac) with 57 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 39,845 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Limoges, (prefecture of the Haute-Vienne department: Limoges) with 108 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 298,060 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Rochechouart, (subprefecture: Rochechouart) with 30 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 37,951 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Hérault department

The 3 arrondissements of the Hérault department are:

Arrondissement of Béziers, (subprefecture: Béziers) with 153 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 308,948 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Lodève, (subprefecture: Lodève) with 122 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 93,461 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Montpellier, (prefecture of the Hérault department: Montpellier) with 67 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 689,922 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Landes department

The 2 arrondissements of the Landes department are:

Arrondissement of Dax, (subprefecture: Dax) with 152 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 218,240 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Mont-de-Marsan, (prefecture of the Landes department: Mont-de-Marsan) with 178 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 178,986 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Lozère department

The 2 arrondissements of the Lozère department are:

Arrondissement of Florac, (subprefecture: Florac-Trois-Rivières) with 38 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 13,330 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Mende, (prefecture of the Lozère department: Mende) with 120 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 63,277 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Mayenne department

The 3 arrondissements of the Mayenne department are:

Arrondissement of Château-Gontier, (subprefecture: Château-Gontier) with 76 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 73,186 in 2014.

Arrondissement of Laval, (prefecture of the Mayenne department: Laval) with 34 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 112,482 in 2014.

Arrondissement of Mayenne, (subprefecture: Mayenne) with 132 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 121,682 in 2014.

Arrondissements of the Morbihan department

The three arrondissements of the Morbihan department are:

Arrondissement of Lorient, (subprefecture: Lorient) with 58 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 312,884 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Pontivy, (subprefecture: Pontivy) with 93 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 124,709 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Vannes, (prefecture of the Morbihan department: Vannes) with 99 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 300,185 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Seine-Maritime department

The 3 arrondissements of the Seine-Maritime department are:

Arrondissement of Dieppe, (subprefecture: Dieppe) with 343 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 235,598 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Le Havre, (subprefecture: Le Havre) with 149 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 394,511 in 2013.

Arrondissement of Rouen, (prefecture of the Seine-Maritime department: Rouen) with 216 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 624,500 in 2013.

Arrondissements of the Somme department

The 4 arrondissements of the Somme department are:

Arrondissement of Abbeville, (subprefecture: Abbeville) with 164 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 125,867 in 2016.

Arrondissement of Amiens, (prefecture of the Somme department: Amiens) with 291 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 304,282 in 2016.

Arrondissement of Montdidier, (subprefecture: Montdidier) with 109 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 47,700 in 2016.

Arrondissement of Péronne, (subprefecture: Péronne) with 208 communes. The population of the arrondissement was 94,895 in 2016.


Forêts [fɔ.ʁɛ] was a department of the French First Republic, and later the First French Empire, in present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. Its name, meaning 'forests', comes from the Ardennes forests. It was formed on 24 October 1795, after the Southern Netherlands had been annexed by France on 1 October. Before the occupation, the territory was part of the Duchy of Luxembourg and the Duchy of Bouillon. Its capital was Luxembourg City.

After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, most of it became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the part on the east side of the rivers Our and Sauer becoming part of Prussia (now Germany). The territory is now divided between the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Belgian province of Luxembourg, and the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The department was subdivided into the following arrondissements and cantons (situation in 1812):

Luxembourg: cantons Luxembourg (2 cantons), Arlon, Bettembourg, Betzdorf, Grevenmacher, Mersch, Messancy, and Remich (Arlon and Messancy now in Belgium, others in Luxembourg).

Bitburg: cantons Bitburg, Arzfeld, Dudeldorf, Echternach, and Neuerburg (Echternach now in Luxembourg, others in Germany).

Diekirch: cantons Diekirch, Clervaux, Ospern, Vianden, and Wiltz (now in Luxembourg).

Neufchâteau: cantons Neufchâteau, Bastogne, Étalle, Fauvillers, Florenville, Houffalize, Paliseul, Sibret and Virton (now in Belgium).Its population in 1812 was 246,333, and its area was 691,035 hectares.

List of French regions and overseas departments by GRP per capita

This article is about the gross regional product (GRP) per capita of French regions and overseas departments in nominal values. Values are shown in EUR€. For easy comparison, all the GRP figures are converted into US$ according to annual average exchange rates. All values are rounded to the nearest hundred.

Lyon Metropolis

Metropolitan Lyon (French: métropole de Lyon), also known as Grand Lyon (i.e. "Greater Lyon"), is a French territorial collectivity located in the east-central region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Encompassing the city of Lyon and most of its suburbs, it has jurisdiction as both a department and a métropole, taking the territory out of the purview of the department of Rhône.

It replaced the Urban Community of Lyon on 1 January 2015, in accordance with the MAPAM Law enacted in January 2014.


Meuse-Inférieure ([møz ɛ̃.fe.ʁjœʁ] "Lower Meuse"; Dutch: Nedermaas or Beneden-Maas; German: Niedermaas) was a department of the First French Empire in present-day Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. It was named after the river Meuse. Its capital was Maastricht. Its territory corresponded largely with the present-day provinces of Belgian and Dutch Limburg.

The department was formed in 1795, when the Southern Netherlands and the left bank of the Rhine were annexed by France. Before the French occupation, the area was divided in several bigger and smaller states, among which:

The County of Loon (Prince-Bishopric of Liège)

Austrian Upper Guelders (The part of Upper Guelders belonging to Austria)

Staats-Oppergelre (The part of Upper Guelders belonging to the United Provinces)

The County of Horne (Bishopric of Liège)

The abbacy of Thorn

Maastricht and part of the Lands of Overmaas (also divided between Austria, and the United Provinces)(The lands of the original medieval Duchy of Limburg were associated with the Overmaas lands, lying to their south. The two regions had long been governed together and referred to collectively with both names, but the original Duchy lands were not part of this new entity.)

The department was subdivided into the following arrondissements and cantons (situation in 1812):

Maastricht, cantons: Bilzen, Gulpen, Heerlen, Maasmechelen, Maastricht (2 cantons), Meerssen, Oirsbeek, Rolduc (now Dutch Kerkrade and German Herzogenrath) and Tongeren.

Hasselt, cantons: Beringen, Borgloon, Hasselt, Herk-de-Stad, Peer and Sint-Truiden.

Roermond, cantons: Achel, Bree, Maaseik, Niederkrüchten, Roermond, Venlo and Weert.Its population in 1812 was 267,249, and its area was 378,633 hectares.After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, the department (excluding Niederkrüchten and Herzogenrath which were assigned to the Kingdom of Prussia and are presently located in North Rhine-Westphalia) became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, as the Province of Limburg (with a part of the Roer département). (Hence they were named after a medieval Duchy which strictly speaking had been in a different but neighbouring territory.)

In subsequent events starting in 1830, a part of this Kingdom split out to become Belgium. By 1839 it was settled that the Hasselt canton of Limburg, plus significant parts of the other two, went into Belgium, while the rest remained in the Netherlands. Both provinces have kept the name Limburg.

Overseas department and region

The overseas departments and regions of France (French: département et régions d’outre-mer or DROM) are departments of France which are outside metropolitan France, the European part of France. They have nearly the same political status as metropolitan departments, although special constitutional provisions allow them greater autonomy and they are excluded from certain domestic statistics, such as the unemployment rate.

As integral parts of France and the European Union, overseas departments are represented in the National Assembly, Senate, and Economic and Social Council, vote to elect members of the European Parliament (MEP), and also use the euro as their currency.

The overseas departments and regions are not the same as the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.

Each overseas department is the sole department in its own overseas region (French: région d'outre-mer) with powers identical to the regions of metropolitan France. Because of the one-to-one correspondence, informal usage does not distinguish the two, and the French media uses the term département d’outre-mer (DOM) almost exclusively.

Since March 2011, the five overseas departments and regions of France are:

French Guiana in South America;

Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean;

Mayotte and Réunion in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa.Guadeloupe and Réunion each have separate departmental and regional councils, while in Mayotte, Guiana and Martinique, the two layers of government are consolidated so one body wields both sets of powers. The overseas departments acquired these additional powers in 1982, when France's decentralisation policy dictated that they be given elected regional councils and other regional powers, however the term "overseas region" was only introduced with the French constitutional amendment of 28 March 2003.

Sarre (department)

Sarre was a department created by the First French Republic and now part of Germany and Belgium. Named after the river Saar (French: Sarre), it was created in 1798 in the aftermath of the Treaty of Campo Formio of 18 October 1797 which ceded the left bank of the Rhine to France.

Despite its name it covered a much larger area than the historical area known as the Saarland. Prior to the French occupation of the area from 1793 onward, its territory had been divided between the Electorate of Trier, Nassau-Saarbrücken and the Electorate of the Palatinate (the Duchy of Zweibrücken and the County of Veldenz). Its territory is now part of the German states Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland as well as a tiny adjacent section of the Belgian province of Liège. Its capital was Trier.

The department was subdivided into the following arrondissements and cantons (situation in 1812):

Trier (French: Trèves), cantons Bernkastel, Büdlich, Konz, Pfalzel, Saarburg, Schweich, Trier and Wittlich.

Birkenfeld, cantons: Baumholder, Birkenfeld, Grumbach, Hermeskeil, Herrstein, Kusel, Meisenheim, Rhaunen and Wadern.

Prüm, cantons: Blankenheim, Daun, Gerolstein, Kyllburg, Lissendorf, Manderscheid, Prüm, Reifferscheid and Schönberg.

Saarbrücken (French: Sarrebrück), cantons: Blieskastel, Lebach, Merzig, Ottweiler, Saarbrücken, Sankt Wendel and Waldmohr.Its population in 1812 was 277,596, and its area was 493,513 hectares (1,219,500 acres).After Napoleon was defeated in 1814, most of the department became part of Prussia, with smaller parts assigned to Duchy of Oldenburg (Birkenfeld) and Bavaria. The cantons of Sankt Wendel and Baumholder were given to Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld as the Principality of Lichtenberg, which was sold to Prussia in 1834. The canton of Meisenheim was given to Hesse-Homburg, which was annexed to Prussia in 1866. The former Schönberg canton would later be included in the Eupen-Sankt Vith-Malmedy plebiscite area following World War I.

Seine (department)

Seine was a department of France encompassing Paris and its immediate suburbs. Its capital was Paris and its official number was 75. The Seine department was abolished in 1968 and its territory divided among four new departments.

Departments of France
Articles on second-level administrative divisions of European countries
Sovereign states

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