Prefecture building of the Seine-Saint-Denis department, in Bobigny
Location of Seine-Saint-Denis in France
|• President of the General Council||Claude Bartolone (PS)|
|• Total||236 km2 (91 sq mi)|
|• Density||6,400/km2 (16,000/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|
Seine-Saint-Denis (French pronunciation: [sɛn.sɛ̃.də.ni]) is a French department located in the Île-de-France region. In local slang, it is known as "quatre-vingt treize" (i.e. "ninety-three") or "neuf trois" (i.e. "nine three"), after the official administrative number of the department, 93.
The learned and rarely used demonym for the inhabitants is Séquano-Dionysiens; more common is Dionysiens.
Seine-Saint-Denis is located to the northeast of Paris. It has a surface area of only 236 km², making it one of the smallest departments in France. Seine-Saint-Denis and two other small departments, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne, form a ring around Paris, known as the Petite Couronne ("little crown"). They form, together with Paris and four other departments, the region of Île-de-France.
Seine-Saint-Denis was created in January 1968, through the implementation of a law passed in July 1964. It was formed from the part of the (hitherto larger) Seine department to the north and north-east of the Paris ring road (and the line of the old city walls), together with a small slice taken from Seine-et-Oise.
Seine-Saint-Denis has a history as a veritable left-wing stronghold, belonging to the ceinture rouge (red belt) of Paris. The French Communist Party especially has maintained a continued strong presence in the department, and still controls the city councils in cities such as Saint-Denis, Bobigny, Le Blanc-Mesnil and La Courneuve. Until 2008, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were the only departments where the Communist Party had a majority in the general councils but the 2008 cantonal elections saw the socialists become the strongest group at the Seine-Saint-Denis general council (while the Communist Party gained a majority in Allier).
A commune of Seine-Saint-Denis, Clichy-sous-Bois, was the scene of the death of two youths which sparked the nationwide riots of autumn 2005. In October - November, 9,000 cars were burned and 3,000 rioters were arrested.
Seine-Saint-Denis is the French department with the highest proportion of immigrants: 21.7% at the 1999 census (see table below). This figure does not include the children of immigrants born on French soil as well as some native elites from former French colonies and people who came from overseas France. The ratio of ethnic minorities is difficult to estimate accurately as French law prohibits the collection of ethnic data for census taking purposes. However estimates suggest there are 500,000 Muslims out of a total population of 1.4 million. Saint-Denis is home to the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) in the Bourget district, which annually hosts one of Europe's major Muslim conferences, Paris-le-Bourget.
In 2005, 56.7% of young people under 18 were of foreign origin including 38% of African origin (22% from Maghreb and 16% from Sub-Saharan Africa). Islam is believed to be the most practiced religion in the department.
Place of birth of residents
Seine-Saint-Denis was scheduled to be the site of a 2004 International Exhibition. However this event was cancelled.
- (French) Website of the General council
- (French) Prefecture website
- (English) Seine-Saint-Denis Tourist Board