Gers
Prefecture building in Auch
Prefecture building in Auch
Flag of Gers
Coat of arms of Gers
Location of Gers in France
Location of Gers in France
Coordinates: 43°39′N 0°35′E / 43.650°N 0.583°E / 43.650; 0.583
CountryFrance
RegionOccitanie
PrefectureAuch
SubprefecturesCondom
Mirande
Government
 • President of the Departmental CouncilPhilippe Dupouy[1] (PS)
Area
 • Total6,257 km2 (2,416 sq mi)
Population
 (2021)[2]
 • Total192,437
 • Rank90th
 • Density31/km2 (80/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number32
Arrondissements3
Cantons17
Communes461
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Gers (French pronunciation: [ʒɛʁ(s)]; Occitan: Gers or Gerç, [dʒɛɾs]) is a department in the region of Occitania, Southwestern France. Gers becoming the largest producer of foie gras in France, known for its rural scene and bastides. Gers is bordered by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques to the south, Haute-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne to the east, Lot-et-Garonne to the north and Landes to the west.[3] Named after the Gers River, its inhabitants are called the Gersois and Gersoises in French. In 2019, it had a population of 191,377.[4]

History

In the Middle Ages, the Lordship of L'Isle-Jourdain was nearby.

Gers is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Guyenne and Gascony. In 1808 it lost Lavit on its north-eastern side to the newly created department of Tarn-et-Garonne.[5]

Culture

The culture is largely agricultural, with great emphasis on the local gastronomical specialties such as:

Also, some prominent cultivated crops are corn, colza, sunflowers and grain.

The Gascon language is a dialect of Occitan, but it is not widely spoken. The department is characterised by sleepy bastide villages and rolling hills with the Pyrenees visible to the south. Alexandre Dumas, père created the famous Gersois d'Artagnan, the fourth musketeer of The Three Musketeers. A museum to d'Artagnan is found in the Gersois village of Lupiac.

A horse race at the Auteuil Hippodrome has been named after André Boingnères, a notable local race-horse owner and the successful Mayor of Termes-d'Armagnac between 1951 and 1976.

Politics

Departmental Council of Gers

The President of the Departmental Council of Gers is Philippe Dupouy of the Socialist Party since 2022.[1] He succeeded Philippe Martin, who had been in office since 2014. The assembly comprises 34 seats, allocated as follow since the 2015 departmental elections:

Party Seats
Socialist Party 22
The Republicans 12

Members of the National Assembly

Gers elected the following members of the National Assembly during the 2017 legislative election:

Constituency Member[6] Party
Gers's 1st constituency Jean-René Cazeneuve La République En Marche!
Gers's 2nd constituency Gisèle Biémouret Socialist Party

Demography

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801257,609—    
1806287,021+2.19%
1821301,336+0.32%
1831312,160+0.35%
1841311,447−0.02%
1851307,479−0.13%
1861298,931−0.28%
1872284,717−0.44%
1881281,532−0.12%
1891261,084−0.75%
1901238,448−0.90%
1911221,994−0.71%
1921194,406−1.32%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1931193,134−0.07%
1936192,451−0.07%
1946190,431−0.11%
1954185,111−0.35%
1962182,264−0.19%
1968181,577−0.06%
1975175,366−0.50%
1982174,154−0.10%
1990174,587+0.03%
1999172,335−0.14%
2006181,375+0.73%
2011188,893+0.82%
2016190,664+0.19%
Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.
source:[7][8]

Located in Southwestern France, Gers is often referred to as amongst the least densely populated (30.5 people/km2 in 2016),[8] least urban, or most rural, areas in all of Western Europe. List of the 10 most populous communes of the department:[4]

Commune Population (2019)
Auch 22,173
L'Isle-Jourdain 9,072
Condom 6,493
Fleurance 5,924
Eauze 3,975
Lectoure 3,672
Vic-Fezensac 3,546
Mirande 3,450
Gimont 3,016
Pavie 2,501

Climate

The annual rain varies from more than 900 mm in the south-west of the department, to less than 700 mm in the North-East (Auch, Condom, Lectoure).

The winters vary, with only occasional freezing temperatures, but the climate remains mild and dry. The amount of sunshine is about 1950 hours/years.

The summers are hot and dry. Auch is, together with Toulouse, Nîmes, Carpentras, Ajaccio, Marseille, Toulon and Perpignan, one of the hottest cities in France.

Tourism

According to recent data tourism represents annually:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Philippe Dupouy succède à Philippe Martin à la tête du département du Gers". France 3. 25 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2021". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 28 December 2023.
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gers" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 904.
  4. ^ a b Populations légales 2019: 32 Gers, INSEE
  5. ^ The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge: Tai-Wan to Titlarks, Volume 24. London: Charles Knight and Co. 1842. pp. 63–64.
  6. ^ Nationale, Assemblée. "Assemblée nationale ~ Les députés, le vote de la loi, le Parlement français". Assemblée nationale.
  7. ^ "Historique du Gers". Le SPLAF.
  8. ^ a b "Évolution et structure de la population en 2016". INSEE.