|Region of France|
Région française (French)
|Also known as:|
Rannvroioù Bro-C'hall (Breton)
Règ·ion francêsa (Franco-Provençal)
Region francesa (Occitan)
|Possible status||Overseas region (région d'outre-mer) (5)|
|Additional status||Territorial collectivity (collectivité territoriale)|
|Populations||279,471 (Mayotte) – 12,278,210 (Île-de-France)|
|Areas||376 km2 (145 sq mi) (Mayotte) – 84,061 km2 (32,456 sq mi) (Nouvelle-Aquitaine)|
|Government||Regional Government, National Government|
|This article is part of a series on the|
divisions of France
France is divided into 18 administrative regions (French : régions, singular région [ʁeʒjɔ̃] ), of which 13 are located in metropolitan France (i.e. on the European continent), while the other five are overseas regions (not to be confused with the overseas collectivities , which have a semi-autonomous status).
All 13 metropolitan administrative regions (including Corsica as of 2019 [update] ) are further subdivided into 2 to 13 administrative departments, with the prefect of each region's administrative center's department also acting as the regional prefect. The overseas regions administratively consist of only one department each and hence also have the status of overseas departments.
Most administrative regions also have the status of regional territorial collectivities , which comes with a local government, with departmental and communal collectivities below the region level. The exceptions are Corsica, French Guiana, Mayotte, and Martinique, where region and department functions are managed by single local governments having consolidated jurisdiction, and which are known as single territorial collectivities .
The term région 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.
Between 1982 and 2015, there were 22 regions in Metropolitan France. Before 2011, there were four overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion); in 2011 Mayotte became the fifth.
|Flag||Region||French name||Other local name(s)||Capital||INSEE No.||Derivation or etymology|
|Alsace||Alsace|| Alsatian: Elsàss|
German : Elsass
|Strasbourg||42||Formerly 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|
|Aquitaine||Aquitaine|| Occitan : Aquitània|
Basque : Akitania
Saintongeais : Aguiéne
|Bordeaux||72||Guyenne and Gascony|
|Auvergne||Auvergne||Occitan : Auvèrnhe / Auvèrnha||Clermont-Ferrand||83||Former province of Auvergne|
|Brittany||Bretagne|| Breton : Breizh|
|Rennes||53||Duchy of Brittany|
|Burgundy||Bourgogne|| Burgundian: Bregogne /Borgoégne|
|Dijon||26||Duchy of Burgundy|
|Centre-Val de Loire||Centre-Val de Loire||Orléans||24||Located in north-central France; straddles the middle of the Loire Valley|
|21||Former province of Champagne|
|Franche-Comté||Franche-Comté|| Franc-Comtois: Fràntche-Comté|
|Besançon||43||Free County of Burgundy (Franche-Comté)|
|Île-de-France||Île-de-France||Paris||11||Province of Île-de-France and parts of the former province of Champagne|
|Languedoc-Roussillon||Languedoc-Roussillon|| Occitan : Lengadòc-Rosselhon|
Catalan : Llenguadoc-Rosselló
|Montpellier||91||Former provinces of Languedoc and Roussillon|
|Limousin||Limousin||Occitan : Lemosin||Limoges||74||Former province of Limousin and parts of Marche, Berry, Auvergne, Poitou and Angoumois|
|Lorraine||Lorraine|| German : Lothringen|
Lorraine Franconian: Lottringe
|Metz||41||Named for Charlemagne's son Lothair I, the kingdom of Lotharingia is etymologically the source for the name Lorraine (duchy), Lothringen (German), Lottringe (Lorraine Franconian)|
|Lower Normandy||Basse-Normandie||Norman: Basse-Normaundie||Caen||25||Western half of former province of Normandy|
|Midi-Pyrénées||Midi-Pyrénées|| Occitan : Miègjorn-Pirenèus|
Occitan : Mieidia-Pirenèus
|Toulouse||73||None; created for Toulouse|
|Nord-Pas-de-Calais||Nord-Pas-de-Calais||Lille||31||Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments|
|Pays de la Loire||Pays de la Loire||Breton : Broioù al Liger||Nantes||52||None; created for Nantes|
|Picardy||Picardie||Amiens||22||Former province of Picardy|
|Poitou-Charentes||Poitou-Charentes|| Occitan : Peitau-Charantas|
Poitevin and Saintongeais : Poetou-Chérentes
|Poitiers||54||Former provinces of Angoumois, Aunis, Poitou and Saintonge|
|Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA)||Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA)|| Provençal: Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur|
|Marseille||93||Former province of Provence|
|Rhône-Alpes||Rhône-Alpes|| Francoprovençal :Rôno-Arpes|
Occitan : Ròse Aups
|Lyon||82||Created for Lyon from Dauphiné and Lyonnais provinces and Savoy|
|Upper Normandy||Haute-Normandie||Norman: Ĥâote-Normaundie||Rouen||23||Eastern half of former province of Normandy|
In 2014, the French parliament passed a law reducing the number of metropolitan regions from 22 to 13 effective 1 January 2016.
The law gave interim names for most of the new regions by combining the names of the former regions, e.g. the region composed of Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes and Limousin was temporarily called Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes. However, the combined region of Upper and Lower Normandy is simply called "Normandy" (Normandie). Permanent names were proposed by the new regional councils by 1 July 2016 and new names confirmed by the Conseil d'État by 30 September 2016.The legislation defining the new regions also allowed the Centre region to officially change its name to "Centre-Val de Loire" with effect from January 2015. Two regions, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, opted to retain their interim names.
Given below is a table of former regions and which new region they became part of.
|Former region||New region|
|Interim name||Final name|
|Centre-Val de Loire|
|Pays de la Loire|
|Type||Region||Other local name(s)||Capital||Area (km2)||Seats||INSEE No.||Former regions (until 2016)||President of the corresponding territorial collectivity's legislature||Location|
|Metropolitan region|| Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes |
| Occitan : Auvèrnhe-Ròse-Aups|
|Lyon||69,711||204||84|| Auvergne |
|Laurent Wauquiez (LR)|
|Metropolitan region|| Bourgogne-Franche-Comté |
|Francoprovençal :Borgogne-Franche-Comtât||Dijon||47,784||100||27|| Burgundy |
|Marie-Guite Dufay (PS)|
|Metropolitan region|| Bretagne |
| Breton : Breizh|
|Rennes||27,208||83||53||unchanged||Loïg Chesnais-Girard (PS)|
|Metropolitan region|| Centre-Val de Loire |
|Orléans||39,151||77||24||Centre||François Bonneau (PS)|
|Metropolitan region|| Corse |
|Corsican : Corsica||Ajaccio||8,680||63||94||unchanged||Jean-Guy Talamoni (CL)|
|Metropolitan region|| Grand Est |
|German : Großer Osten||Strasbourg||57,441||169||44|| Alsace |
|Jean Rottner (LR)|
|Metropolitan region|| Hauts-de-France |
|Lille||31,806||170||32|| Nord-Pas-de-Calais |
|Xavier Bertrand (LR)|
|Metropolitan region|| Île-de-France |
(Island of France)
|Paris||12,011||209||11||unchanged||Valérie Pécresse (LR)|
|Metropolitan region|| Normandie |
|Norman: Normaundie||Rouen||29,907||102||28|| Upper Normandy |
|Hervé Morin (LC)|
|Metropolitan region|| Nouvelle-Aquitaine |
| Occitan : Nòva Aquitània / Nava Aquitània / Novela Aquitània|
Basque : Akitania Berria
|Bordeaux||84,036||183||75|| Aquitaine |
|Alain Rousset (PS)|
|Metropolitan region|| Occitanie |
| Occitan : Occitània|
Catalan : Occitània
|Toulouse||72,724||158||76|| Languedoc-Roussillon |
|Carole Delga (PS)|
|Metropolitan region|| Pays de la Loire |
|Breton : Broioù al Liger||Nantes||32,082||93||52||unchanged||Christelle Morançais (LR)|
|Metropolitan region|| Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur |
| Provençal: Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur|
|Marseille||31,400||123||93||unchanged||Renaud Muselier (LR)|
|Overseas region||Guadeloupe||Antillean Creole: Gwadloup||Basse-Terre||1,628||41||01||unchanged||Ary Chalus (GUSR)|
|Overseas region|| Guyane |
|Cayenne||83,534||51||03||unchanged||Rodolphe Alexandre (PSG)|
|Overseas region|| La Réunion |
|Reunion Creole: La Rényon||Saint-Denis||2,504||45||04||unchanged||Didier Robert (LR)|
|Overseas region||Martinique||Antillean Creole: Matinik||Fort-de-France||1,128||51||02||unchanged||Claude Lise (RDM)|
|Overseas region||Mayotte|| Shimaore: Maore|
|Mamoudzou||374||26||06||unchanged||Soibahadine Ibrahim Ramadani (LR)|
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.
Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1986.
Overseas region (French : Région d'outre-mer) is a recent designation, given to the overseas departments that have similar powers to those of the regions of metropolitan France. As integral parts of the French Republic, they are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council, elect a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and use the euro as their currency.
Although these territories have had these political powers since 1982, when France's decentralisation policy dictated that they be given elected regional councils along with other regional powers, the designation overseas regions dates only to the 2003 constitutional change; indeed, the new wording of the constitution aims to give no precedence to either appellation overseas department or overseas region, although the second is still virtually unused by French media.
The following have overseas region status:
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, and five are overseas departments, which are also classified as overseas 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.
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 after Russia and Ukraine.
The overseas departments and regions of France are departments of France that are outside metropolitan France, the European part of France. They 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.
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.
Metropolitan France, also known as European France, is the area of the French Republic which is geographically in Europe. It comprises mainland France and Corsica, as well as nearby islands situated in the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea.
A territorial collectivity is a chartered subdivision of France, with recognized governing authority. It is the generic name for any subdivision with an elective form of local government and local regulatory authority. The nature of a French territorial collectivity is set forth in Article 72 of the French Constitution of 1958, which provides for local autonomy within limits prescribed by law.
The following are ranked lists of French regions.
The French overseas collectivities, are first-order administrative divisions of France, like the French regions, but have a semi-autonomous status. The COMs include some former French overseas colonies and other French overseas entities with a particular status, all of which became COMs by constitutional reform on 28 March 2003. The COMs differ from overseas regions and overseas departments, which have the same status as metropolitan France but are located outside Europe. As integral parts of France, overseas collectivities are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council and can vote to elect members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The Pacific COMs use the CFP franc, a currency pegged to the euro, whereas the Atlantic COMs use the euro itself. As of 31 March 2011, there were five COMs:
A regional council is the elected assembly of a region of France.
The galleries below show flags attributed to the eighteen regions, five overseas collectivities, one sui generis collectivity and one overseas territory of France. Most of them are non-official as regions often use their logos as a flag.
In the NUTS codes of France (FR), the three levels are:
La Coupe de l'Outre-Mer de football was a biennial football competition that was created in 2008. It was designed to have the national football teams of the overseas departments and territories of France play against each other. This competition replaces the Coupe des Clubs Champions de l'Outre-Mer that involved clubs from the territories. The first edition took place between 24 September and 4 October 2008 in Île-de-France.
Overseas France consists of all the French-administered territories outside Europe, mostly remains of the French colonial empire. These territories have varying legal status and different levels of autonomy, although all have representation in both France's National Assembly and Senate, which together make up the French Parliament. Their citizens have French nationality and vote for the President of France. They have the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament. 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.
Regional elections were held in France on 6 and 13 December 2015. At stake were the regional councils in metropolitan and overseas France as well as the Corsican Assembly and inaugural seats in the Assembly of French Guiana and Assembly of Martinique, all for a six-year term. The Departmental Council of Mayotte, which also exercises the powers of a region, was the only region not participating in this election, having already been renewed on 2 April 2015. There were 18 Regional Presidencies at stake, with 13 in continental France and Corsica, and 5 overseas. Though they do not have legislative autonomy, these territorial collectivities manage sizable budgets. Moreover, regional elections are often taken as a mid-term opinion poll.