Landes (department)

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Landes
Lanas (Occitan)
Landak (Basque)
Pref Landes MDM.JPG
Drapeau fr departement Landes.svg
Blason departement fr Landes.svg
Landes-Position.svg
Location of Landes in France
Coordinates: 44°0′N0°50′W / 44.000°N 0.833°W / 44.000; -0.833 Coordinates: 44°0′N0°50′W / 44.000°N 0.833°W / 44.000; -0.833
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Prefecture Mont-de-Marsan
Subprefecture Dax
Government
   President of the Departmental Council Xavier Fortinon [1] (PS)
Area
1
  Total9,243 km2 (3,569 sq mi)
Population
 (Jan. 2019) [2]
  Total413,690
  Rank 59th
  Density45/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 40
Arrondissements 2
Cantons 15
Communes 327
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries and lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Landes (French pronunciation:  [lɑ̃d] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Gascon and Occitan : Lanas [ˈlanəs] ; Basque : Landak) is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Southwestern France, with a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It borders Gers to the east, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, to the south, Lot-et-Garonne to the north-east, and Gironde to the north. It also borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Located on the Atlantic coast, it had a population of 413,690 as of 2019. [3] Its prefecture is Mont-de-Marsan.

Contents

The department is the second-largest department in France and its covers the Forest of Landes. The southwestern part of the department is part of the wider conurbation of Biarritz and Bayonne across the Pyrénées-Atlantique border.

History

Landes is one of the original 83 departments that were created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the provinces of Guyenne and Gascony.

During the first part of the 19th century large parts of the department were covered with poorly drained heathland (French : lande) which is the origin of its name. The vegetation covered rich soil and was periodically burned off, leaving excellent pasturage for sheep, which around 1850 are thought to have numbered between 900,000 and 1,000,000 in this area. The sheep were managed by shepherds who moved around on stilts and became proficient at covering long distances thus supported. Most of the sheep departed during the second half of the nineteenth century when systematic development of large pine plantations transformed the landscape and the local economy.

One of the most famous citizens of the Landes was the 19th-century French economist Frédéric Bastiat.

The Nobel Prize–winning novelist François Mauriac set his novels in the Landes.

Geography

The Landes is part of the current region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. With an area stretching over more than 9000 km2, Landes is, after Gironde, the second largest department of the metropolitan French territory.

It is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach which is Europe's longest and attracts many surfers to Mimizan and Soorts-Hossegor each year. It is also home to a château called Château de Gaujacq that was built in 1686.

Demographics

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801224,272    
1806240,146+1.38%
1821256,311+0.44%
1831281,504+0.94%
1841288,077+0.23%
1851302,196+0.48%
1861300,839−0.04%
1872300,528−0.01%
1881301,143+0.02%
1891297,842−0.11%
1901291,586−0.21%
1911288,902−0.09%
1921263,937−0.90%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1931257,186−0.26%
1936251,436−0.45%
1946248,395−0.12%
1954248,943+0.03%
1962260,495+0.57%
1968277,381+1.05%
1975288,323+0.55%
1982297,424+0.44%
1990311,461+0.58%
1999327,334+0.55%
2006362,827+1.48%
2011387,929+1.35%
2016405,010+0.87%
Sources: [4] [5]

Principal towns

The most populous commune is Mont-de-Marsan, the prefecture. As of 2019, there are 5 communes with more than 10,000 inhabitants: [3]

CommunePopulation (2019)
Mont-de-Marsan 29,807
Dax 20,843
Biscarrosse 13,947
Saint-Paul-lès-Dax 13,381
Tarnos 12,634

Politics

Departmental Council of Landes

The president of the Departmental Council has been Xavier Fortinon of the Socialist Party since 2017. He succeeded former president of the National Assembly Henri Emmanuelli upon his death.

PartySeats
Socialist Party 17
Left Front 3
Union of the Republican Right and Independents 10

National representation

In the 2017 legislative election, Landes elected the following members of the National Assembly:

ConstituencyMember [6] Party
Landes's 1st constituency Fabien Lainé MoDem
Landes's 2nd constituency Lionel Causse La République En Marche!
Landes's 3rd constituency Boris Vallaud Socialist Party

In the Senate, Landes is represented by two members: Éric Kerrouche and Monique Lubin. Both have served since the 2017 Senate election.

Economy

Agriculture

Landes is known for its large pine forest which is the raw material for a timber and resin industries in the region. The forest was planted in the early nineteenth century to prevent erosion of the region's sandy soil by the sea.

Tourism

Landes is famous for its seaside resorts and natural spots, such as:

See also

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References

  1. "Répertoire national des élus: les conseillers départementaux". data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 4 May 2022.
  2. "Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2019". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2021.
  3. 1 2 Populations légales 2019: 40 Landes, INSEE
  4. "Historique des Landes". Le SPLAF.
  5. "Évolution et structure de la population en 2016". INSEE.
  6. Nationale, Assemblée. "Assemblée nationale ~ Les députés, le vote de la loi, le Parlement français". Assemblée nationale.