Regions of France

Région  (French)
CategoryUnitary state
LocationFrench Republic
Possible statusOverseas region (5)
Région d'outre-mer
Additional statusTerritorial collectivity
Collectivité Territoriale
Populations212,645 (Mayotte) – 12,005,077 (Île-de-France)
Areas376 km2 (145 sq mi) (Mayotte) – 84,061 km2 (32,456 sq mi) (Nouvelle-Aquitaine)
GovernmentRegional Government, National Government

France is divided into 18 administrative regions (French: région, [ʁeʒjɔ̃]), which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent.[1] The 13 metropolitan regions (including 12 mainland regions and Corsica) are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are also referred to as "overseas departments". The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, and in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused with the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.


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.[2] In 2016, the number of regions was reduced from 27 to 18 through mergers.

Reform and mergers of regions

In 2014, the French parliament passed a law reducing the number of metropolitan regions from 22 to 13 effective 1 January 2016.[3]

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.[4][5] 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.[6] Two regions, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, opted to retain their interim names.[7][8]

Regions that merged:

Former region New region (interim name) New region (final name)
Burgundy Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Aquitaine Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Lower Normandy Normandy Normandy
Upper Normandy
Alsace Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine Grand Est
Languedoc-Roussillon Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées Occitanie
Nord-Pas-de-Calais Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie Hauts-de-France
Auvergne Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Regions that remained unchanged:

Centre-Val de Loire
French Guiana
Pays de la Loire
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Overview of region division proposals for the metropolitan territory

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Franse geweste
العربية: مناطق فرنسا
azərbaycanca: Fransa regionları
Bân-lâm-gú: Hoat-kok ê toā-khu
беларуская: Рэгіёны Францыі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Рэгіёны Францыі
Bahasa Indonesia: Daerah di Prancis
interlingua: Regiones de Francia
עברית: חבלי צרפת
Bahasa Melayu: Kawasan di Perancis
norsk nynorsk: Regionar i Frankrike
Piemontèis: Region fransèise
Plattdüütsch: Regionen vun Frankriek
Simple English: Regions of France
slovenščina: Seznam regij Francije
српски / srpski: Региони Француске
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Regioni Francuske
татарча/tatarça: Франция регионнары
українська: Регіони Франції
Tiếng Việt: Vùng của Pháp
West-Vlams: Regio (Vrankryk)
粵語: 法國大區
中文: 法国大区