|— Department —|
|• President of the General Council||Bernard Bonne (UMP)|
|• Total||4,781 km2 (1,846 sq mi)|
|• Density||150/km2 ( 400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2|
Loire was created in 1793 when after just 3½ years the young Rhône-et-Loire department was split into two. This was a response to counter-Revolutionary activities in Lyon which, by population, was the country's second largest city. By splitting Rhône-et-Loire the government sought to protect the French Revolution from the potential power and influence of counter revolutionary activity in the Lyon region.
The departmental capitals have been / are as follows:
The River Loire traverses the department from south to north.
The Loire department is split into three arrondissements:
Parts of the department belong to Parc naturel régional Livradois-Forez.
The inhabitants of the department are called Ligériens.
The industrial city of Saint-Étienne with its suburbs contains some 290,000 of the area's 728,542 inhabitants.
See also 
- Cantons of the Loire department
- Communes of the Loire department
- Arrondissements of the Loire department