|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|
France is divided into 18 administrative regions (French: régions, singular région [?e?j]), of which 13 are located in metropolitan France (i.e. on the European continent), while the other five are overseas regions (not be confused with the "overseas collectivities", which have a semi-autonomous status).
All 13 mainland administrative regions (including Corsica as of 2019 ) 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, the 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|
|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|
Saintongeais : Aguiéne
|Bordeaux||72||Guyenne and Gascony|
|Auvergne||Auvergne||Occitan: Auvèrnhe / Auvèrnha||Clermont-Ferrand||83||Former province of Auvergne|
|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|
|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|
|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 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|
|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|
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|
Occitan: Ròse Aups
|Lyon||82||Created for Lyon from Dauphiné and Lyonnais provinces and Savoy|
|Upper Normandy||Haute-Normandie||Norman: ?âote-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.
Édouard Balladur's proposal
Manuel Valls's proposal A
Manuel Valls's proposal B
President François Hollande's proposal
Regions as instituted by the National Assembly in 2014
Regions that merged:
Regions that remained unchanged:
|Type||Region||Other local name(s)||Capital||Area (km2)||INSEE No.||Former regions (until 2016)||President of the corresponding territorial collectivity's legislature||Location|
|Laurent Wauquiez (LR)|
|Marie-Guite Dufay (PS)|
|Rennes||27,208||53||unchanged||Loïg Chesnais-Girard (PS)|
|Mainland region||Centre-Val de Loire (Centre-Loire Valley)||Orléans||39,151||24||Centre||François Bonneau (PS)|
|Corsican: Corsica||Ajaccio||8,680||94||unchanged||Jean-Guy Talamoni (CL)|
|Mainland region||Grand Est
|German: Großer Osten||Strasbourg||57,441||44||Alsace
|Jean Rottner (LR)|
|Xavier Bertrand (LR)|
(Island of France)
|Paris||12,011||11||unchanged||Valérie Pécresse (LR)|
|Norman: Normaundie||Rouen||29,907||28||Upper Normandy
|Hervé Morin (LC)|
|Occitan: Nòva Aquitània / Nava Aquitània / Novela Aquitània
Basque: Akitania Berria
|Alain Rousset (PS)|
|Mainland region||Occitanie||Occitan: Occitània
|Carole Delga (PS)|
|Mainland region||Pays de la Loire
|Breton: Broioù al Liger||Nantes||32,082||52||unchanged||Christelle Morançais (LR)|
|Mainland region||Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
|Provençal: Provença-Aups-Còsta d'Azur
|Marseille||31,400||93||unchanged||Renaud Muselier (LR)|
|Overseas region||Guadeloupe||Antillean Creole: Gwadloup||Basse-Terre||1,628||01||unchanged||Ary Chalus (GUSR)|
|Cayenne||83,534||03||unchanged||Rodolphe Alexandre (PSG)|
|Overseas region||La Réunion
|Reunion Creole: La Rényon||Saint-Denis||2,504||04||unchanged||Didier Robert (LR)|
|Overseas region||Martinique||Antillean Creole: Matinik||Fort-de-France||1,128||02||unchanged||Claude Lise (RDM)|
|Overseas region||Mayotte||Shimaore: Maore
|Mamoudzou||374||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: