Administrative divisions of France

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Metropolitan France

As of January 1, 2004, metropolitan France is divided into:

Furthermore, as of January 1, 2005, there exist 2,510 intercommunal structures grouping 32,223 communes (88.1% of all the communes of metropolitan France), with 50.9 million people living in them (84.3% of the population of metropolitan France). These intercommunal structures are:

Overseas

The French Republic is further made up of the following overseas divisions:

  • 4 overseas régions (régions d'outre-mer): Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, and Réunion, which have the same status as metropolitan régions (as much as Hawaii has the same status as a continental US state), each of these overseas régions also being an overseas département (département d'outre-mer, or DOM), with the same status as a département of metropolitan France. This double structure (région/département) is new, due to the recent extension of the regional scheme to the overseas départements, and may soon transform into a single structure, with the merger of the regional and departmental assemblies, unless new départements are created such as in the case of Réunion, where it has been proposed to create a second département in the south of the island, with the région of Réunion above these two départements.
  • these DOM are divided into 13 arrondissements
  • these 13 arrondissements are divided into 156 cantons
  • these 156 cantons make up 114 communes (in the 4 DOM, there are more cantons than communes, unlike in metropolitan France, because many communes are divided into several cantons, whereas in metropolitan France in general cantons are made up of several communes, except in large communes like Toulouse or Lille which are divided into several cantons)
  • Furthermore, as of January 1, 2005, there exist 15 intercommunal structures in the DOM, grouping 88 communes (77.2% of all the communes of the DOM), with 1.35 million people living in them (78.7% of the population of the DOM). These intercommunal structures are:
  • 3 overseas collectivities (collectivités d'outre-mer): Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna, and Mayotte (although strictly speaking Mayotte is in fact a "departmental collectivity", not an overseas collectivity, with the possibility to become a full-status French département in 2010, but for the sake of clarity it is most often classified as overseas collectivity)
  • New Caledonia is divided into 3 provinces
  • the provinces are divided into 33 communes
  • French Polynesia is divided into 5 administrative subdivisions (subdivisions administratives)
  • the administrative subdivisions are divided into 48 communes
  • a collection of five islands in the Indian Ocean with no permanent population and known as Îles Éparses ("Scattered Islands"), which are administered by the prefect of the département of Réunion: Bassas da India, Europa, Juan de Nova, Glorioso, and Tromelin.
  • 1 uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico which is administered by the high-commissioner of the French Republic in French Polynesia: Clipperton.

General rules

Citizens from all parts of France, including overseas possessions, vote in national elections (presidential, legislative) and are represented to the Senate. Contrary to other countries such as the United States, there is not a two-tiered system whereby some parts of the territory have the right to vote in national elections, and some do not.

Historical divisions

Historically, France was divided into provinces. See: Provinces of France.

See also

ko:프랑스의 행정구역 pl:Podział administracyjny Francji sv:Frankrikes administrativa uppdelning

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