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


(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 administratively divided into 26 regions or régions (in French), of which 21 are on mainland France, one is the island of Corsica, and four are overseas. Each mainland region and Corsica are further subdivided into 2 to 8 Departments, or départements.

General characteristicsEdit

In mainland France (excluding Corsica), the median land area of a region is 25,809 km² (9,965 sq mi), which is about 25% of the median land area of an Alaskan county, and only 4% as large as the median land area of a Canadian province, but 15% larger than the median land area of a German region/land, and 67% larger than the area of a region of England.

In 2004, the median population of a region in continental France was 2,329,000 inhabitants, which is a little less than one-half of the median population of a region of England, and three-quarters of the median population of a German lander (region), but more than twice the median population of a Canadian province.


Regions do not have separate legislative authority and cannot therefore 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 contend that tax revenue is insufficient to be allocated to pay for the resulting costs and such measures would increase regional inequalities.

Apart from these legal attributions, regions have considerable discretionary powers for infrastructural spending, e.g., education, public transit, funding universities and research, and assistance for business owners. Because of this, being the regional head of a wealthy region such as Île-de-France or Rhône-Alpes can be quite a high-profile position.

Occasional discussions about giving limited legislative autonomy to the regions remain controversial. There are also proposals to transfer certain local government powers of the departments to their respective regions, leaving the departments with very limited authority.

Regions and their Capitals Edit

Template:France Regions Labelled Map

Metropolitan Regions
Region Capital
Flag of Alsace Alsace Strasbourg
Aquitaine flag Aquitaine Bordeaux
Template:Country data Auvergne Auvergne Clermont-Ferrand
Template:Country data Bourgogne Bourgogne Dijon
Template:Country data Brittany Britanny Rennes
Template:Country data Centre Centre Orléans
Template:Country data Champagne-Ardenne Champagne-Ardenne Châlons-en-Champagne
Template:Country data Corsica Corsica Ajaccio
Template:Country data Franche-Comté Franche-Comté Besançon
Template:Country data Île-de-France Île-de-France Paris
Template:Country data Languedoc-Roussillon Languedoc-Roussillon Montpellier
Template:Country data Limousin Limousin Limoges
Template:Country data Lorraine Lorraine Metz
Template:Country data Midi-Pyrénées Midi-Pyrénées Toulouse
Template:Country data Nord-Pas-de-Calais Nord-Pas-de-Calais Lille
Template:Country data Basse-Normandie Basse-Normandie Caen
Template:Country data Haute-Normandie Haute-Normandie Rouen
Template:Country data Pays de la Loire Pays de la Loire Nantes
Template:Country data Picardie Picardy Amiens
Template:Country data Poitou-Charentes Poitou-Charentes Poitiers
Template:Country data Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Marseille
Template:Country data Rhône-Alpes Rhône-Alpes Lyon
Overseas Regions
Region Capital
Flag of France French Guiana Cayenne
Template:Country data Guadeloupe Guadeloupe Basse-Terre
Template:Country data Martinique Martinique Fort-de-France
Template:Country data Réunion Réunion Saint-Denis

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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