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Territories of France, excluding Antarctic territories. Citizens from all these territories, including the overseas administrative divisions, are French citizens, vote in national elections (presidential, legislative), and all of the inhabited territories are represented in the Senate.

The administrative divisions of France are concerned with the institutional and territorial organization of French territory. These territories are located in many parts of the world. There are many administrative divisions, which may have political (local government), electoral (districts), or administrative (decentralized services of the state) objectives. All the inhabited territories are represented in the National Assembly, Senate and Economic and Social Council and their citizens have French citizenship and elect the President of France.

Types of division

Regions, the most integrated territories

The French Republic is divided into 18 regions: 12 in mainland France and 6 elsewhere (1 in Europe: Corsica; 2 in the Caribbean (the Lesser Antilles): Guadeloupe and Martinique; 1 in South America: French Guiana; and 2 in the Indian Ocean near East Africa: Mayotte and Réunion). They are traditionally divided between the metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and the overseas regions, located outside the European continent. Both have the same status and form the most integrated part of the French Republic.

Metropolitan regions

As of 1 January 2022, metropolitan France is divided into the following:[1]

Furthermore, as of January 2009, there exist 2,585 intercommunal structures grouping 34,077 communes (93.2% of all the communes of metropolitan France), with 87.4% of the population of metropolitan France living in them.[3] These intercommunal structures are:

Overseas regions

Five overseas regions (régions d'outre-mer, or ROM), which have the same status as metropolitan regions. The overseas regions are as follows:

  1. French Guiana
  2. Guadeloupe
  3. Martinique
  4. Mayotte
  5. Réunion

Overseas collectivities, semi-autonomous territories

Main article: Overseas collectivity

The five overseas collectivities of France

The French Republic includes five overseas collectivities (collectivités d'outre-mer, or COM) with a semi-autonomous status:

  1. French Polynesia
  2. Saint Barthélemy
  3. Saint Martin
  4. Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  5. Wallis and Futuna

New Caledonia, an autonomous territory

The French Republic includes one autonomous collectivity:

  1. New Caledonia

New Caledonia's status is unique in the French Republic: it is the only French local government that is not a territorial collectivity (although its subdivisions are territorial collectivities). It is regarded as a sui generis collectivity, which means that local government and parliament have the power to pass and enforce specific laws without seeking the consent of the French Government; unless such laws are declared illegitimate by the Constitutional Council in a specific proceeding brought to the Constitutional Council. As agreed in the 1998 Nouméa Accord, a New Caledonian citizenship was established (in addition to the French citizenship which is kept in parallel, along with the consequent European citizenship) and a self-determination referendum was held in 2018. Two follow-up referendums were held in 2020 and 2021.

Territories without civilian population

These territories have no permanent civilian population. The residents consist of military personnel, scientific researchers, and support staff.

Overseas territory

1 overseas territory (territoire d'outre-mer, or TOM): the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, which have no permanent population and no communes.

  1. Adélie Land
  2. Crozet Islands
  3. Kerguelen Islands
  4. Saint Paul Island and Amsterdam Island
  5. The Scattered Islands (Îles Éparses), a collection of five non-permanently inhabited island groups in the Indian Ocean: Bassas da India, Europa Island, the Glorioso Islands (including Banc du Geyser), Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island. These were previously administered separately but they have been combined into the French Southern and Antarctic Lands since February 2007.

Uninhabited island directly under the authority of the Minister of Overseas France

Territorial collectivities

Main article: Territorial collectivity

See also: Decentralisation in France

French subdivisions that have a (limited) freedom of administration are called territorial collectivities. Among them are regions, departments, communes, overseas collectivities, provinces (only present in New Caledonia), and the territorial collectivity of Corsica which belongs to no category (but is usually grouped with the regions). New Caledonia is unique as it is not a territorial collectivity.[citation needed]

General rules

Citizens from all parts of France, including the overseas administrative divisions, vote in national elections (presidential, legislative), and all of the collectivities are represented in the Senate.

List of departments by region

Metropolitan France

Regions and departments of Metropolitan France

Overseas departments and collectivities

Metropolitan France, overseas departments and overseas collectivities

Historical divisions

Provinces of royal France superimposed by modern administrative boundaries and the names of the actual regions
Regions and departments of France from 1982 to 2015

Historically, France was divided into a complex mosaic of more or less independent entities. Their gradual incorporation into France as provinces may be followed in the article Territorial formation of France.

See also


  1. ^ "Les collectivités locales en chiffres 2021" (PDF) (in French). Ministère de la Cohésion des territoires et des Relations avec les collectivités territoriales. August 2021. p. 18.
  2. ^ "La réforme territoriale" (in French). Government of France. 18 December 2015. Archived from the original on 30 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b Direction générale des collectivités locales (DGCL), Ministry of the Interior. "Intercommunalité - Bilan statistique 2009" (in French). Archived from the original on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.