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Hotel de Guise Prefecture de l'Orne a Alencon DSCF2223.JPG
Prefecture building of the Orne department, in Alençon
Flag of Orne.svg
Blason departement fr Orne.svg
Location of Orne in France
Coordinates: 48°42′N0°0′E / 48.700°N 0.000°E / 48.700; 0.000
Country France
Region Normandy
Prefecture Alençon
Subprefectures Argentan
   President of the Departmental Council Christophe de Balorre [1]
  Total6,103 km2 (2,356 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2021) [2]
  Rank 78th
  Density45/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number 61
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 385
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Orne (French pronunciation: [ɔʁn] ; Norman : Ôrne or Orne) is a département in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne. It had a population of 279,942 in 2019. [3]



Orne is one of the original 83 départements created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Normandy and Perche. It is the birthplace of Charlotte Corday, Girondist and the assassin of Jean-Paul Marat.


Orne is in the region of Normandy neighbouring Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Sarthe, Manche, Mayenne, and Calvados. It is the only department of Normandy not to border the English Channel.


The largest town by a considerable margin is the prefecture, Alençon, which is an administrative and commercial centre for what is still an overwhelmingly rural department. There are no large industrial centres, and agriculture remains the economic focus.


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
YearPop.±% p.a.
Sources: [4] [5]

The inhabitants of the department are called Ornais.

The recorded population level peaked at 443,688 in 1836. Declining farm incomes and the lure of better prospects in the overseas empire led to a sustained reduction in population levels in many rural departments. By the time of the 1936 census, the recorded population stood at just 269,331. Once motor car ownership started to surge in the 1960s, employment opportunities became less restricted and by 1982, the population level had recovered a little to 295,000, after which it slowly decreased.

Principal towns

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

CommunePopulation (2019)
Alençon 25,870
Flers 14,762
Argentan 13,395
L'Aigle 7,961
La Ferté Macé 5,186


The president of the Departmental Council is Christophe de Balorre, elected in 2017.

Presidential elections 2nd round

ElectionWinning CandidateParty%2nd Place CandidateParty%
2022 [6] Emmanuel Macron LREM 55.12 Marine Le Pen RN 44.88
2017 Emmanuel Macron LREM 61.64 Marine Le Pen FN 38.36
2012 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 52.89 François Hollande PS 47.11
2007 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 57.66 Ségolène Royal PS 42.34
2002 [7] Jacques Chirac RPR 81.30 Jean-Marie Le Pen FN 18.70

Current National Assembly Representatives

ConstituencyMember [8] Party
Orne's 1st constituency Joaquim Pueyo Socialist Party
Orne's 2nd constituency Véronique Louwagie The Republicans
Orne's 3rd constituency Jérôme Nury The Republicans


Alençon is the chief town of the Orne department.

Camembert, the village where Camembert cheese is made, is located in Orne.

The local dialect is known as Augeron .


See also

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  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 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. 1 2 Populations légales 2019: 61 Orne, INSEE
  4. "Historique de l'Orne". Le SPLAF.
  5. "Évolution et structure de la population en 2016". INSEE.
  6. "Résultats élections: Orne". Le Monde .
  7. "Résultats de l'élection présidentielle 2002: Orne". Ministère de l'Intérieur.
  8. Nationale, Assemblée. "Assemblée nationale ~ Les députés, le vote de la loi, le Parlement français". Assemblée nationale.