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Ôvèrgne-Rôno-Ârpes (Arpitan)
Auvèrnhe Ròse Aups (Occitan)
Lake Annecy in the French Alps
Flag of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Coat of arms of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Country France
13 (12 normal departments, and 1 metropolis)
 • President of the Regional CouncilLaurent Wauquiez (LR)
 • PrefectPascal Mailhos
 • Total69,711 km2 (26,916 sq mi)
 • Rank4th
 (Jan. 2020)[2]
 • Total8,078,652
 • Density120/km2 (300/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Auvergnat / Rhônalpin
Aurhalpin (rare & non-official)
Gross Regional Product
 • Total€290.877 billion
 • Per capita€36,500
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-ARA

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (ARA; French: [ovɛʁɲ ʁon alp] )[4] is a region in southeast-central France created by the 2014 territorial reform of French regions; it resulted from the merger of Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes. The new region came into effect on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015.[5]

The region covers an area of 69,711 km2 (26,916 sq mi), making it the third largest in metropolitan France; it had a population of 7,994,459 in 2018, second to Île-de-France.[6] It consists of twelve departments and one territorial collectivity (Lyon Metropolis) with Lyon as the prefecture.

This new region combines diverse geographical, sociological, economic and cultural regions, which was already true of Rhône-Alpes, as well as Auvergne, to a lesser extent. While the old Rhône-Alpes and Auvergne regions each enjoyed a unity defined by axes of communication and the pull of their respective metropoles,[Note 1] the new combination is heterogeneous; it sustained lively opposition from some local officials after its creation.[7][8][9][10]

Toponymy, logo and symbols[edit]

The region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and its departments on the background of historical provinces

The text of the territorial reform law gives interim names for most of the merged regions, combining the names of their constituent regions alphabetically, separated by hyphens. Permanent names would be proposed by the new regional councils and confirmed by the Conseil d'État by 1 October 2016.[11][12]

The interim name of the new administrative region was a hyphenated placename, composed of the historic region of Auvergne, the river Rhône and the French Alps (Alpes). The same name has been chosen as the definitive name, which was officialized by the Conseil d'État on 28 September 2016.[13]

According to several online polls from Lyon Capitale, the name "Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne" led voting, ahead of "Alpes-Auvergne" and "AURA" (an acronym for Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes),[14] which was proposed by Jean-Jack Queyranne, former president of the regional council of Rhône-Alpes. Schoolchildren were consulted about the name of the new region in February 2016; local residents were consulted in March.[15]

After adjusting the votes in proportion to the number of inhabitants of the regions (Rhône-Alpes having five times the population of Auvergne) the name "Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne" was still leading, ahead of "Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes" and the acronym "AURA".[16]

Despite this result, Laurent Wauquiez and his team decided not to follow the preference of the citizens of the new region, and the name Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes was put to the vote by the regional council and adopted unanimously on 23 June 2016;[17][18] it was made official on 28 September 2016 through a decree appearing in the Journal Officiel de la République Française.[1]

In October 2017, the region was given a coat of arms that combines those of Auvergne, Savoie, Lyonnais and Dauphiné.[19] The region also has a flag, which initially consisted of the coat of arms on a white background, but was replaced by a heraldic flag in January 2018. On 9 February 2018, the region formalised the flag and the coat of arms on its website, as implemented by Mattieu Casali, a historical scholar.[20] It was received favourably by the national heraldic commission.[21]

The blazon is described on the region's website (in French) as "Écartelé : au premier d’or au gonfanon de gueules bordé de sinople (Auvergne); au deuxième de gueules à la croix d’argent (Savoie); au troisième de gueules au lion d’argent (Lyonnais); au quatrième d’or au dauphin d’azur, crêté, barbé, loré, peautré et oreillé de gueules (Dauphiné)," which translates roughly to: "Quartered: the first quarter, with an or (gold) background, containing a gules (red) banner fringed with vert (green), representing Auvergne; the second quarter, with a gules background, containing an argent (silver) cross, representing Savoie; the third quarter, with a gules background, containing an argent lion, representing Lyon; the fourth quarter, with an or background, containing an azure dolphin[22] with gules details, representing the Dauphiné."[20]

In Arpitan and in Occitan, two of the three languages that are historically spoken in the region, the name is pronounced:[Note 2]

  • Arpitan: Ôvèrgne-Rôno-Arpes [o.ˌvɛr.ɲə.rɔn.ˈar.pə];
  • Occitan : Auvèrnha-Ròse-Aups [ɔwˈver.ɲə.rɔz(e).ɔwp].



Map of the region (ML is the Lyon Metropolis).

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes administrative region covers an area of 69 711 km2 in the centre and east of the south of France. It is a collection of regions of diverse topographies, climates, natural resources, cultures, folklore, architecture, and languages. It is bordered by five other administrative regions: Bourgogne-Franche-Comté to the north, Centre-Val de Loire to the northwest, Nouvelle-Aquitaine to the west, Occitanie to the south-west, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur to the south-east. It is also bordered by Italy (Aosta Valley and Piedmont) to the east and Switzerland (Cantons of Geneva, Valais, and Vaud) to the north-east.

Extreme points:


Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes comprises twelve departments: Ain, Allier, Ardèche, Cantal, Drôme, Haute-Loire, Haute-Savoie, Isère, Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône and Savoie.

Metropolitan centers[edit]

Important train stations[edit]

  • Lyon Part-Dieu
  • Lyon Perrache
  • Valence-Ville
  • Valence-TGV
  • Saint-Étienne-Châteaucreux
  • Grenoble
  • Bourg-Saint-Maurice
  • Chambéry-Challes-Les-Eaux
  • Modane
  • Clermont-Ferrand
  • Geneve Cornavin
  • Dabussy


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 270.0 billion euros (327.0 billion dollars) in 2018, accounting for 11.9% of French economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 30,200 euros or 100% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 109% of the EU average.[23]


The region is governed by the Regional Council of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes consisting of 204 members. The current regional council was elected in regional elections on 20 and 27 June 2021, with the list of Laurent Wauquiez consisting of The Republicans (LR), and the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI) securing an absolute majority of 136 seats.[24]

2021 Regional elections in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Candidate List First round[25] Second round Seats +/-
Votes % Votes %
Laurent Wauquiez * LR-UDI-LMR-VIA 751,375 43.85 960,785 55.20 136 +23
Fabienne Grébert EÉLV-G·s- 248,017 14.47 585,039 33.61 51 -6
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem PS-PRG-GRS- 195,727 11.42
Cécile Cukierman PCF-LFI 95,434 5.57
Andréa Kotarac RN-LDP 211,178 12.32 194,789 11.19 17 -17
Bruno Bonnell MR-LREM-MoDem-Agir 168,292 9.82
Chantal Gomez LO 26,742 1.56
Shella Gill DIV 11,198 0.65
Farid Omeir UDMF 5,684 0.33
Valid votes 1,713,647 97.30 1,740,613 96.57
Blank ballots 30,859 1.75 41,392 2.30
Null Ballots 16,712 0.95 20,502 1.14
Turnout 1,761,218 32.59 1,802,507 33.35 204 Steady
Abstentions 3,642,126 67.41 3,602,658 66.65
Registered voters 5,403,344 100 5,405,165 100

See also[edit]


  1. ^ With the exception of Haute-Loire which is found in the economic region of Saint-Étienne.
  2. ^ Auvèrnha or Auvèrnhe in Auvergne and Vivaro-Alpine regions; Ròse as the general Occitan form; Aups in Vivaro-Alpine, Alpas in Auvergnat.


  1. ^ a b "Décret No. 2016-1266 du 28 septembre 2016 portant fixation du nom et du chef-lieu de la région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes" (in French). 28 September 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2017..
  2. ^ "Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2020". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2022.
  3. ^ "EU regions by GDP, Eurostat". Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  4. ^ Arpitan: Ôvèrgne-Rôno-Ârpes; Occitan: Auvèrnhe Ròse Aups; Italian: Alvernia-Rodano-Alpi
  5. ^ "La carte à 13 régions définitivement adoptée" (in French). Le Monde. Agence France-Presse. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Comparateur de territoire: Région d'Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (84)". Insee. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  7. ^ Poignard, Frédéric (10 October 2008). "Le Grand Lyon, laboratoire du "big bang territorial"". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Rapport Balladur : Que pensez-vous de la fusion Auvergne et Rhône-Alpes ?". Cyberbougnat (in French). 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  9. ^ Licourt, Julien (15 January 2014). "La réduction du nombre de régions réveille les susceptibilités locales". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Observatoire de la FPI : Auvergne-rhône-Alpes" (PDF). (in French). January 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  11. ^ Loi n° 2015-29 du 16 janvier 2015 relative à la délimitation des régions, aux élections régionales et départementales et modifiant le calendrier électoral (in French)
  12. ^ Bancaud, Delphine (18 December 2014). "Carte de France à 13 régions : Comment vont-elles s'appeler ?". 20 minutes (in French). Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  13. ^ Décret n° 2016-1266 du 28 septembre 2016 portant fixation du nom et du chef-lieu de la région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (in French)
  14. ^ Steven, Belfils (18 December 2014). "Sondage : quel nom pour la future région ?". (in French). Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  15. ^ Fallas, Claude (27 May 2016). "Laurent Wauquiez propose Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes comme nom de la nouvelle Région" (in French). Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  16. ^ Cerinsek, Patricia (14 March 2016). "La Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes cherche (toujours) son nom". Place Gre'net (in French). Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Le nouveau nom de la région sera Auvergne/Rhône-Alpes". Le Progrès (in French). 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Les élus de la Région valident le nom Auvergne Rhône-Alpes". (in French). 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  19. ^ Koller, Rodolphe (2 November 2017). "La Région se dote sans bruit d'un nouveau blason". (in French). Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Un blason qui fait sens pour Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes". (in French). 9 February 2018. Archived from the original on 10 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  21. ^ Commission nationale d'héraldique, ed. (2018). Rapport Annuel 2017 des Archives en France (PDF) (in French). p. 41. Retrieved 12 December 2018. [...] En 2017, la Commission nationale d'héraldique s'est réunie deux fois, les 3 avril et 18 octobre. Elle a examiné 31 dossiers : [...] • 2 blasons de grandes régions : Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes [...] 61 % de ces dossiers ont reçu un avis favorable de conformité héraldique, notamment ceux des grandes régions. [...]
  22. ^ "Dolphin". Mistholme. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  23. ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  24. ^ "Résultats des élections régionales 2021". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Elections régionales et des assemblées de Corse, Guyane et Martinique 2021" (in French). Retrieved 21 June 2021.

External links[edit]