Regions of France

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This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France

Regions

(incl. overseas regions)

(incl. overseas departments)

Urban communities
Agglomeration communities
Commune communities
Syndicates of New Agglomeration

Associated communes
Municipal arrondissements

Others in Overseas France

Overseas collectivities
Sui generis collectivity
Overseas country
Overseas territory
Clipperton Island

 
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Logo de la République française.svg

This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France

Regions

(incl. overseas regions)

(incl. overseas departments)

Urban communities
Agglomeration communities
Commune communities
Syndicates of New Agglomeration

Associated communes
Municipal arrondissements

Others in Overseas France

Overseas collectivities
Sui generis collectivity
Overseas country
Overseas territory
Clipperton Island

France is divided into 27 administrative regions (French: région, pronounced: [ʁe.ʒjɔ̃]), 22 of which are in Metropolitan France, and five of which are overseas. Corsica is a territorial collectivity (French collectivité territoriale), but is considered a region in mainstream usage, and is even shown as such on the INSEE website.[1] Each mainland region and Corsica are further subdivided into departments, ranging in number from 2 to 8 per region for the metropolitan regions, whereas the overseas regions technically consist of only one department each. The term region was officially created by the Law of Decentralisation (2 March 1982), which also gave regions their legal status. The first direct elections for regional representatives took place on 16 March 1986.[2]

General characteristics[edit]

In mainland France (excluding Corsica), the median land area of a region is 25,809 km² (9,965 sq mi), which is slightly larger than the U.S. state of Vermont, 4% of the median land area of a Canadian province, or 15% larger than the median land area of a German Regierungsbezirk.

In 2004, the median population of a region in continental France was 2,329,000 inhabitants, three quarters of the median population of a German Land (state), but more than twice the median population of a Canadian province.

Role[edit]

Regions lack separate legislative authority and therefore cannot write their own statutory law. They levy their own taxes and, in return, receive a decreasing part of their budget from the central government, which gives them a portion of the taxes it levies. They also have considerable budgets managed by a regional council (conseil régional) made up of representatives voted into office in regional elections.

A region's primary responsibility is to build and furnish high schools. In March 2004, the French central government unveiled a controversial plan to transfer regulation of certain categories of non-teaching school staff to the regional authorities. Critics of this plan contended that tax revenue was insufficient to pay for the resulting costs, and that such measures would increase regional inequalities.

In addition, regions have considerable discretionary power over infrastructural spending, e.g., education, public transit, universities and research, and assistance to business owners. This has meant that the heads of wealthy regions such as Île-de-France or Rhône-Alpes can be high-profile positions.

Proposals to give regions limited legislative autonomy have met with considerable resistance; others propose transferring certain powers from the departments to their respective regions, leaving the former with limited authority.

Regional control[edit]

Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1986.

  Left
  Right

Regions and their capitals[edit]

Metropolitan regions
Flag[3]RegionFrench nameOther local name(s)CapitalINSEE No.[1]Derivation or statusPresident
Flag of AlsaceAlsaceAlsaceAlsatian: Elsàss
German: Elsass
Strasbourg42Formerly a coalition of free cities in Holy Roman Empire, attached to Kingdom of France in 1648.

Annexed by Germany from Franco-Prussian war to the end of World War I and briefly during World War II

P. Richert (UMP)
Flag of AquitaineAquitaineAquitaineOccitan: Aquitània
Basque: Akitania
Bordeaux72Former Roman province of Aquitaine
plus Guyenne and Gascony
A. Rousset (PS)
Flag of AuvergneAuvergneAuvergneOccitan: Auvèrnhe / AuvèrnhaClermont-Ferrand83Former province of AuvergneR. Souchon (PS)
Flag of BrittanyBrittanyBretagneBreton: Breizh
Gallo: Bertaèyn
Rennes53Duchy of BrittanyJ-Y. Le Drian (PS)
Flag of Bourgogne (Burgundy)BurgundyBourgogneBurgundian: Bregogne / Borgoégne
Arpitan: Borgogne
Dijon26Duchy of BurgundyF. Patriat (PS)
Flag of CentreCentreCentreOrléans24Located in central FranceF. Bonneau (PS)
Flag of Champagne-ArdenneChampagne-ArdenneChampagne-ArdenneChâlons-en-
Champagne
21Former province of ChampagneJ-P. Bachy (PS)
Flag of Franche-ComtéFranche-ComtéFranche-ComtéFranc-Comtois: Fràntche-Comté
Arpitan: Franche-Comtât
Besançon43Free County of Burgundy
(Franche-Comté)
M-M. Dufay (PS)
Flag of Île-de-FranceÎle-de-FranceÎle-de-FranceParis11Province of Ile-de-France and parts
of the former province of Champagne
J-P. Huchon (PS)
Flag of Languedoc-RoussillonLanguedoc-RoussillonLanguedoc-RoussillonOccitan: Lengadòc-Rosselhon
Catalan: Llenguadoc-Rosselló
Montpellier91Former provinces of Languedoc
and Roussillon
C. Bourquin (DVG)
Flag of LimousinLimousinLimousinOccitan: LemosinLimoges74Former province of Limousin and parts
of Marche, Berry, Auvergne, Poitou
and Angoumois
J-P. Denanot (PS)
Flag of LorraineLorraineLorraineGerman: Lothringen
Lorraine Franconian: Lottringe
Metz41Named for Charlemagne's son Lothair I, the kingdom of Lotharingia is etymologically
the source for the name Lorraine (duchy), Lothringen (German), Lottringe (Lorraine Franconian)
J-P. Masseret (PS)
Flag of Lower NormandyLower NormandyBasse-NormandieNorman: Basse-NormaundieCaen25Western half of former province of NormandyL. Beauvais (PS)
Flag of Midi-PyrénéesMidi-PyrénéesMidi-PyrénéesOccitan: Miègjorn-Pirenèus
Occitan: Mieidia-Pirenèus
Toulouse73None; created for ToulouseM. Malvy (PS)
Flag of Nord-Pas-de-CalaisNord-Pas-de-CalaisNord-Pas-de-CalaisDutch: Noord-Nauw van KalesLille31Nord and Pas-de-Calais departmentsD. Percheron (PS)
Flag of Pays-de-la-LoirePays de la LoirePays de la LoireBreton: Broioù al LigerNantes52None; created for NantesJ. Auxiette (PS)
Flag of Picardie (Picardy)PicardyPicardieAmiens22Former province of PicardyC. Gewerc (PS)
Flag of Poitou-CharentesPoitou-CharentesPoitou-CharentesPoitiers54Former province of PoitouS. Royal (PS)
Flag of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'AzurProvence-Alpes-Côte d'AzurProvence-Alpes-Côte d'AzurOccitan:
   Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur
   Prouvènço-Aup-Costo d'Azur
Italian:
   Provenza-Alpi-Costa Azzurra
Marseille93Provence plus the former county of
Nice
, principality of Orange and
Avignon
M. Vauzelle (PS)
Flag of Rhône-AlpesRhône-AlpesRhône-AlpesArpitan: Rôno-Arpes
Occitan: Ròse Aups
Lyon82Created for Lyon from Dauphiné and
Lyonais provinces
and Savoy
J-J. Queyranne (PS)
Flag of Haute-NormandieUpper NormandyHaute-NormandieNorman: Ĥâote-NormaundieRouen23Eastern half of former province of NormandyA. Le Vern (PS)
The following region has the special status of territorial collectivity.
Flag of CorsicaCorsicaCorseCorsican: Corsica
Italian: Corsica
Ajaccio94Territorial collectivityP. Giacobbi (PRG)
The following five regions have the special status of overseas region.
Flag of French GuianaFrench GuianaGuyaneCayenne03Overseas regionR. Alexandre (PSG)
Flag of GuadeloupeGuadeloupeGuadeloupeAntillean Creole: GwadloupBasse-Terre01Overseas regionV. Lurel (PS)
Flag of MartiniqueMartiniqueMartiniqueAntillean Creole: MatinikFort-de-France02Overseas regionS. Letchimy (PPM)
unofficial flag of MayotteMayotteMayotteShimaore: Maore
Malagasy: Mahori
Mamoudzou05Overseas regionD. Zaïdani (DVG)
ReunionLa RéunionReunion Creole: La RényonSaint-Denis04Overseas regionD. Robert (UMP)

Arms of the regions of France[edit]

France-Regions et blasons.svg

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Carte des Régions" (in French). INSEE. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  2. ^ Jean-Marie Miossec (2009), Géohistoire de la régionalisation en France, Paris: Presses universitaires de France ISBN 978-2-13-056665-6.
  3. ^ These flags are not official, but popularly used.

External links[edit]