Metropolitan France

Last updated
Map of Metropolitan France Fr-map.png
Map of Metropolitan France

Metropolitan France (French : France métropolitaine or la Métropole), also known as European France, [1] is the area of France which is geographically in Europe. This collective name for the European regions of France is used in everyday life in France but has no administrative meaning, with the exception of only Metropolitan France being part of the Schengen Area. [2] Indeed, the overseas regions have exactly the same administrative status as the metropolitan regions. Metropolitan France comprises mainland France and Corsica, as well as nearby French islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel (French : la Manche), and the Mediterranean Sea. It borders have undergone significant changes over the centuries, particularly in the east, but have remained unaltered since 1947.

Contents

In contrast, overseas France is the collective name for all the French départements and territories outside Europe. Metropolitan and overseas France together form the French Republic. Metropolitan France accounts for 82.0% of the land territory, 3.3% of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and 95.9% of the population of the French Republic. Some small parts of France (e.g. Cerdanya) are a part of the Iberian Peninsula.

In overseas France, a person from metropolitan France is often called a métro, short for métropolitain.

Etymology

The term "metropolitan France" dates from the country's colonial period (from the 16th to the 20th centuries), when France was referred to as la Métropole (literally "the Metropolis"), as distinguished from its colonies and protectorates, known as les colonies or l'Empire. Similar terms existed to describe other European colonial powers (e.g. "metropolitan Britain", "España metropolitana"). This application of the words "metropolis" and "metropolitan" came from Ancient Greek "metropolis" (from μήτηρ mētēr "mother" and πόλις pólis "city, town"), which was the name for a city-state that created colonies across the Mediterranean (e.g. Marseille was a colony of the city-state of Phocaea; therefore Phocaea was the "metropolis" of Marseille). By extension "metropolis" and "metropolitan" came to mean "motherland", a nation or country as opposed to its colonies overseas.

Paris, metropolitan France Paris from the Arc de Triomphe, 17 October 2019.jpg
Paris, metropolitan France

Today, some people[ who? ] in Overseas France object to the use of the term la France métropolitaine due to its colonial history. They prefer to call it "the European territory of France" (le territoire européen de la France), as the Treaties of the European Union do.[ citation needed ] Likewise, they oppose treating overseas France and metropolitan France as separate entities. For example, INSEE used to calculate its statistics (demography, economy, etc.) for metropolitan France only, and to analyze separate statistics for the overseas departments and territories. People[ who? ] in the overseas departments have opposed this separate treatment, arguing that the then four overseas departments were fully part of France.[ citation needed ]

As a result, since the end of the 1990s INSEE has included the four overseas departments in its figures for France (such as total population or GDP). The fifth overseas department, Mayotte, has been included in the figures for France since the mid-2010s too. INSEE refers to metropolitan France and the five overseas departments as la France entière ("the whole of France"). "The whole of France" includes the five overseas departments, but does not include the other overseas collectivities and territories that have more autonomy than the departments. Other branches of the French administration may have different definitions of what la France entière is. For example, in contrast to INSEE, when the Ministry of the Interior releases election results, they use the term la France entière to refer to the entire French Republic, including all of overseas France, and not just the five overseas departments.

Since INSEE now calculates statistics for la France entière, this practice has spread to international institutions. For instance, the French GDP published by the World Bank includes metropolitan France and the five overseas departments. The World Bank refers to this total as "France"; it does not use the phrase "the whole of France", as INSEE does.

Statistics

Metropolitan France covers a land area of 543,940 km2 (210,020 sq mi), [lower-alpha 1] while overseas France covers a land area of 119,396 km2 (46,099 sq mi), [3] for a total of 663,336 km2 (256,115 sq mi) in the French Republic (excluding Adélie Land in Antarctica where sovereignty is suspended since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959). Thus, metropolitan France accounts for 82.0% of the French Republic's land territory.

At sea, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of metropolitan France covers 333,691 km2 (128,839 sq mi), while the EEZ of Overseas France covers 9,825,538 km2 (3,793,661 sq mi), for a total of 10,159,229 km2 (3,922,500 sq mi) in the French Republic (excluding Adélie Land). [4] Thus, metropolitan France accounts for 3.3% of the French Republic's EEZ.

According to INSEE, 65,250,000 people lived in metropolitan France as of January 2021, while 2,785,000 lived in overseas France, for a total of 68,035,000 inhabitants in the French Republic. [5] Thus, metropolitan France accounts for 95.9% of the French Republic's population.

In the second round of the 2017 French presidential election, 35,467,327 French people cast a ballot (meaning a turnout of 74.56%). 33,883,463 of these (95.53% of the total voters) cast their ballots in metropolitan France (turnout: 76.26%), 1,003,910 (2.83% of the total voters) cast their ballots in overseas France (turnout: 53.59%), and 579,954 (1.64% of the total voters) cast their ballots in foreign countries (French people living abroad; turnout: 45.84%). [6]

The French National Assembly is made up of 577 deputies, 539 of whom (93.4% of the total) are elected in metropolitan France, 27 (4.7% of the total) in overseas France, and 11 (1.9% of the total) by French citizens living in foreign countries.

Mainland France

l'Hexagone illustrated by overlaying the outline of mainland France with the hexagon on the 1988 Charles de Gaulle commemorative 1 franc coin. Going counterclockwise, the sides of the hexagon are: 1. the Channel coast, 2. the Atlantic coast, 3. the Pyrenees (border with Spain), 4. the Mediterranean coast, 5. the eastern border (Alps, Jura and Upper Rhine; Monaco to Karlsruhe), and 6. the northeastern border (German Rhineland, Belgium, and Luxembourg; Karlsruhe to Dunkirk). Hexagone.png
l'Hexagone illustrated by overlaying the outline of mainland France with the hexagon on the 1988 Charles de Gaulle commemorative 1 franc coin. Going counterclockwise, the sides of the hexagon are: 1. the Channel coast, 2. the Atlantic coast, 3. the Pyrenees (border with Spain), 4. the Mediterranean coast, 5. the eastern border (Alps, Jura and Upper Rhine; Monaco to Karlsruhe), and 6. the northeastern border (German Rhineland, Belgium, and Luxembourg; Karlsruhe to Dunkirk).

Mainland France (French: la France continentale), or just "the mainland" (French: le continent), does not include the French islands in the Atlantic Ocean, English Channel, or Mediterranean Sea, the largest of which is Corsica.

In Corsica, people from the mainland part of metropolitan France are referred to as les continentaux.

A casual synonym for the mainland part of metropolitan France is l'Hexagone ("the Hexagon"), for its approximate shape, and the adjective hexagonal may be a casual synonym of French (usually understood as metropolitan only, except in topics related to the foreign affairs and national politics of France as a whole). The image of France as a hexagon first appeared in French geography texts of the 1850s. [7]

See also

Notes

  1. French Land Register data, which exclude lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi) as well as the estuaries of rivers. French National Geographic Institute data, which includes bodies of water, gives a value of 551,695 km2 (213,011 sq mi) for the land area of metropolitan France.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">French Southern and Antarctic Lands</span> Overseas Territory of France

The French Southern and Antarctic Lands is an overseas territory of France. It consists of:

  1. Adélie Land, the French claim on the continent of Antarctica.
  2. Crozet Islands, a group in the southern Indian Ocean, south of Madagascar.
  3. Kerguelen Islands, a group of volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean, southeast of Africa.
  4. Saint Paul and Amsterdam Islands, a group to the north of the Kerguelen Islands.
  5. Scattered Islands, a dispersed group of islands around the coast of Madagascar.
<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mayotte</span> Overseas department of France in the Indian Ocean

Mayotte, officially the Department of Mayotte, is an overseas department and region and single territorial collectivity of France. It is located in the northern part of the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeastern Africa, between Northwestern Madagascar and Northeastern Mozambique. Mayotte consists of a main island, Grande-Terre, a smaller island, Petite-Terre, as well as several islets around these two. Mayotte is the most prosperous territory in the Mozambique Channel, making it a major destination for immigration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Departments of France</span> Administrative subdivision in France

In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government under the national level, between the administrative regions and the communes. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, with an additional five constituting overseas departments, which are also classified as overseas regions. Departments are further subdivided into 333 arrondissements and 2,054 cantons. These last two levels of government have no political autonomy, instead serving as the administrative basis for the local organisation of police, fire departments as well as, in certain cases, elections.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Regions of France</span> Administrative divisions of France

France is divided into eighteen administrative regions, of which thirteen are located in metropolitan France, while the other five are overseas regions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geography of France</span> Overview of the geography of France

The geography of France consists of a terrain that is mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in the north and west and mountainous in the south and the east. Metropolitan France has a total size of 551,695 km2 (213,011 sq mi). It is the third largest country in Europe by area and the largest in Western Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Territoire de Belfort</span> Department of France

The Territoire de Belfort is a department in the northeastern French region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. In 2020 it had a population of 140,120. The department, which encompasses a relatively small surface area of 609.4 km2, is located just southwest of the European Collectivity of Alsace. It also shares a border with the Swiss canton of Jura to the southeast. Its prefecture is Belfort.

ISO 3166-2:FR is the entry for France in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.

The overseas departments and regions of France are departments of the French Republic which are outside the continental Europe situated portion of France, known as "metropolitan France". The distant parts have exactly the same status as mainland France's regions and departments. The French Constitution provides that, in general, French laws and regulations apply to French overseas regions the same as in metropolitan France, but can be adapted as needed to suit the region's particular needs. Hence, the local administrations of French overseas regions cannot themselves pass new laws. On occasion referendums are undertaken to re-assess the sentiment in local status.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Communes of France</span> France territorial subdivision for municipalities

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy, or municipios in Spain. The UK equivalent are civil parishes. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Administrative divisions of France</span> Class grouping all types of territorial divisions of France (administrative or electoral)

The administrative divisions of France are concerned with the institutional and territorial organization of French territory. These territories are located in many parts of the world. There are many administrative divisions, which may have political, electoral (districts), or administrative objectives. All the inhabited territories are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council and their citizens have French citizenship and elect the President of France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Exclusive economic zone</span> Adjacent sea zone in which a state has special rights

An exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as prescribed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is an area of the sea in which a sovereign state has exclusive rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. EEZ does not define the ownership of any maritime features within the EEZ.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metropole</span> Homeland of a colonial empire

A metropole is the homeland, central territory or the state exercising power over a colonial empire. From the 19th century, the English term metropole was mainly used in the scope of the British, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and Ottoman empires to designate those empires' home territories, as opposed to their colonial or overseas territories.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demographics of Paris</span>

The city of Paris had a population of 2,165,423 people within its administrative city limits as of January 1, 2019. It is surrounded by the Paris unité urbaine, or urban area, the most populous urban area in the European Union. In 2018 the unité urbaine had a population of 10,816,803 in 2,854 km2 (1,102 sq mi). The Paris Region, or Île-de-France, covers 12,012 km2 (4,638 sq mi), and has its own regional council and president. It has a population of 12,213,447 as of January 2018, or 18.3 percent of the population of France. The metropolitan or functional area of Paris covers 18,941 km2 (7,313 sq mi) and has 13,064,617 inhabitants (2018).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paris metropolitan area</span> French statistical area

The Paris metropolitan area is a statistical area that describes the reach of commuter movement to and from Paris, France and its surrounding suburbs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">French Guiana</span> Overseas department of France in South America

French Guiana is an overseas department of France located on the northern coast of South America in the Guianas. Bordered by Suriname to the west and Brazil to the east and south, French Guiana covers a land area of 83,534 km2 (32,253 sq mi), and is inhabited by 295,385 people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Overseas France</span> French-administered territories outside Europe

Overseas France consists of 13 French-administered territories outside Europe, mostly the remains of the French colonial empire that remained a part of the French state under various statuses after decolonization. Some, but not all, are part of the European Union. "Overseas France" is a collective name; while used in everyday life in France, it is not an administrative designation in its own right. Instead, the five overseas regions have exactly the same administrative status as the metropolitan regions; the five overseas collectivities are semi-autonomous; and New Caledonia is an autonomous territory. Overseas France includes island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, French Guiana on the South American continent, and several peri-Antarctic islands as well as a claim in Antarctica. Excluding the district of Adélie Land, where French sovereignty is effective de jure by French law, but where the French exclusive claim on this part of Antarctica is frozen by the Antarctic Treaty, overseas France covers a land area of 120,396 km2 (46,485 sq mi) and accounts for 18.0% of the French Republic's land territory. Its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 9,825,538 km2 (3,793,661 sq mi) accounts for 96.7% of the EEZ of the French Republic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metropolis of Lyon</span> Territorial collectivity in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

The Metropolis of Lyon, also known as Grand Lyon, is a French territorial collectivity located in the east-central region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is a directly elected metropolitan authority 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 had a population of 1,411,571 in 2019, 37% of whom lived in the city of Lyon proper.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Exclusive economic zone of the United Kingdom</span> Maritime boundary

The United Kingdom's exclusive economic zone is the fifth largest in the world at 6,805,586 km2 (2,627,651 sq mi). It comprises the exclusive economic zones surrounding the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories. The figure does not include the EEZ of the British Antarctic Territory.

France has, due to its Overseas departments and regions that are scattered in all the oceans of Earth, the largest exclusive economic zone of the world. The total EEZ of France is 11,691,000 km2 (4,514,000 sq mi).

References

  1. (French : Territoire européen de la France) "Ministère des Affaires Étrangères- Les étrangers titulaires d'un passeport ordinaire dispensés de l'obligation de visa - 1. Le territoire européen de la France" (in French). Archived from the original on 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  2. https://france-visas.gouv.fr/en/france-in-the-schengen-area
  3. Land area of the four old overseas departments (), Mayotte, the overseas collectivities, and New Caledonia (page 21), the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and the Scattered Islands ( Archived 2018-06-19 at the Wayback Machine ), and Clipperton ().
  4. "Sea Around Us – Fisheries, Ecosystems and Biodiversity" . Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  5. Population of Metropolitan France: . The population of all five overseas departments totaled 2,172,000 in January 2021. The population of the overseas collectivities amounted to 613,000 inhabitants (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon , Saint-Barthélemy , Saint-Martin , French Polynesia , Wallis et Futuna , New Caledonia ). The total population of the overseas departments and territories of France is estimated at 2,785,000.
  6. "Résultats de l'élection présidentielle 2017". Minister of the Interior (in French). Government of France . Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  7. Peter Sahlins, "Natural Frontiers Revisited: France's Boundaries since the Seventeenth Century", The American Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 5 (Dec., 1990), p. 1451

46°00′N2°00′E / 46.000°N 2.000°E / 46.000; 2.000