Urban area (France)

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Map of France indicating its commune municipalities. The colours show the urban organisation status of each municipality in 2010 :
Urban areas of France in 2010, broken down by communes:
  Red: urban communes also urban poles of an urban area
  Orange: other urban communes in a single urban area
  Yellow: urban communes linked to at least two urban areas
  White: rural communes

An aire urbaine (literal and official translation: "urban area"[1]) is an INSEE (France's national statistics bureau) statistical concept describing a core of urban development and the extent of its commuter activity. When applied to larger agglomerations, this unit becomes similar to a U.S. metropolitan area, and the INSEE sometimes uses the term aire métropolitaine[2] to refer to France's larger aires urbaines.

Composition[edit]

The aire urbaine is based on France's nationwide map of interlocking administrative commune municipalities: when a commune has over 2000 inhabitants and contains a centre of dense construction (buildings spaced no more than 200 metres apart), it is combined with other adjoining communes fulfilling the same criteria to become a single unité urbaine ("urban unit" [3]); if an urban unit offers over 10,000 jobs and its economical development is enough to draw more than 40% of the population of a nearby municipalities (and other municipalities drawn to these in the same way) as commuters, it becomes a pôle urbain ("urban cluster"[4]) and the "commuter municipalities" become its couronne ("rim"[5]), but this only on the condition that the urban unit itself is not part of another urban cluster's rim. The aire urbaine is an urban cluster and its rim combined, or a statistical area describing a central urban core and its economic influence on surrounding municipalities.

Lesser aires urbaines[edit]

If an urban unit offers 5,000~10,000 jobs (thus becoming an 'average' urban cluster) yet manages to draw commuters numbering more than 40% of the population of nearby municipalities (and other municipalities drawn to these in the same way), the whole qualifies as an 'average' aire urbaine; a 'small' aire urbaine fulfils the same commuter criteria but is centred on an urban unit (or 'small' urban cluster) offering 1,500~5,000 jobs.[6]

List of France's aires urbaines (metropolitan areas)[edit]

The following is a list of the twenty largest aires urbaines (metropolitan areas) in France, based on their population at the 2011 census. Population at the 2006 census is indicated for comparison.

Rank
(2011)
Rank
(2006)
Aire urbaine
(metropolitan area)
Population
(2011)
Population
(2006)
Yearly change
(2006-2011)
Land area
(km²)
1 1  Paris [7] 12,292,895 11,956,493 +0.56% 17,174
2 2  Lyon [8] 2,188,759 2,085,107 +0.98% 6,019
3 3  Marseille - Aix-en-Provence[9] 1,720,941 1,692,459 +0.33% 3,174
4 4  Toulouse [10] 1,250,251 1,169,865 +1.34% 5,381
5 5  Lille (French part) [11] 1,159,547 1,152,507 +0.12% 926
6 6  Bordeaux [12] 1,140,668 1,086,106 +0.99% 5,613
7 7  Nice [13] 1,003,947 995,968 +0.16% 2,585
8 8  Nantes [14] 884,275 841,404 +1.00% 3,302
9 9  Strasbourg (French part) [15] 764,013 749,766 +0.38% 2,198
10 12  Rennes [16] 679,866 637,673 +1.29% 3,747
11 10  Grenoble [17] 675,122 659,459 +0.47% 2,621
12 11  Rouen [18] 655,013 643,499 +0.36% 2,367
13 13  Toulon [19] 606,987 598,514 +0.28% 1,196
14 15  Montpellier [20] 561,326 529,401 +1.18% 1,673
15 14  Douai - Lens [21] 542,946 545,636 −0.10% 679
16 17  Avignon [22] 515,123 501,866 +0.52% 2,083
17 16  Saint-Étienne [23] 508,548 508,284 +0.01% 1,689
18 18  Tours [24] 480,378 469,244 +0.47% 3,184
19 19  Clermont-Ferrand [25] 467,178 454,553 +0.55% 2,420
20 20  Nancy [26] 434,565 432,481 +0.10% 2,367

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Definitions and methods: Urban area
  2. ^ "Un maillage du territoire français" (in French). Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  3. ^ Definitions and methods: Urban unit
  4. ^ Definitions and methods: Urban Cluster
  5. ^ Definitions and methods: Rim
  6. ^ Definitions and methods: Urban area
  7. ^ Paris
  8. ^ Lyon
  9. ^ Marseille-Aix-en-Provence
  10. ^ Toulouse
  11. ^ Lille
  12. ^ Bordeaux
  13. ^ Nice
  14. ^ Nantes
  15. ^ Strasbourg
  16. ^ Rennes
  17. ^ Grenoble
  18. ^ Rouen
  19. ^ Toulon
  20. ^ Montpellier
  21. ^ Douai-Lens
  22. ^ Avignon
  23. ^ Saint-Étienne
  24. ^ Tours
  25. ^ Clermont-Ferrand
  26. ^ Nancy

External links[edit]

  • Geopolis: research group,university of Paris-Diderot, France - Population of urban areas of 10,000 or more