Rhône (department)

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Prefecture building of the Rhône department, in Lyon
Prefecture building of the Rhône department, in Lyon
Coat of arms of Rhône
Coat of arms
Location of Rhône in France
Location of Rhône in France
Coordinates: 45°50′N 04°40′E / 45.833°N 4.667°E / 45.833; 4.667Coordinates: 45°50′N 04°40′E / 45.833°N 4.667°E / 45.833; 4.667
Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Lyon (provisional)
Subprefectures Villefranche-
 • President of the General Council Danielle Chuzeville (UDI)
 • Total 3,249 km2 (1,254 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,725,177
 • Rank 4th
 • Density 530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 69
Arrondissements 2
Cantons 54
Communes 289
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Rhône (French pronunciation: ​[ʁon]; Arpitan: Rôno) is a French department located in the central Eastern region of Rhône-Alpes. It is named after the Rhône River.


The Rhône department was created on August 12, 1793 when the former département of Rhône-et-Loire was split into two departments: Rhône and Loire.

Originally, the eastern border of Rhône was the city of Lyon itself, so that the communes immediately east of Lyon belonged to neighboring department. With the growth of Lyon and the spilling of the urban area into the suburban communes of Lyon, such as Villeurbanne, the limits of the department were judged impractical as they left the suburbs of Lyon outside of Rhône. Thus, Rhône was enlarged several times to incorporate into it the suburbs of Lyon from neighboring department:

  • In 1852, four communes from Isère were incorporated into Rhône.
  • In 1967, 23 communes of Isère and six communes of Ain were incorporated into Rhône.
  • In 1971, one commune from Isère was incorporated into Rhône.

With these enlargements, the area of the Rhône department increased from 2,791 km² to the current 3,249 km² (16.4% larger). At the 1999 French census, the original Rhône department would have had only 1,071,288 inhabitants, which means that the population in the territories added in the last two centuries was 507,581 inhabitants in 1999. Lyon remains the administrative center of the département.


Rivers include the Rhône and the Saône (which joins the Rhône in Lyon).

The neighboring departments are Ain, Isère, Loire and Saône-et-Loire.

Over 75% of the population lives within the Lyon metropolitan area, which includes all of the largest cities of the Rhône department, apart from Villefranche-sur-Saône (2011 census).


The President of the General Council is the centrist Danielle Chuzeville, who leads a coalition between centrists and the local UMP.


See also[edit]


External links[edit]