Pays de la Loire
|• President of the Regional Council||Christelle Morançais (LR)|
|• Total||32,082 km2 (12,387 sq mi)|
|• Density||120/km2 (310/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR-PDL|
|GDP (2012)||Ranked 5th|
|Total||€101.2 billion (US$130.2 bn)|
|Per capita||€27,775 (US$35,725)|
Pays de la Loire (French pronunciation: [pe.i d(ə) la lwaʁ]; lit. 'Loire Lands'; Breton: Broioù al Liger) is one of the 18 regions of France, in the west of the mainland. It was created in the 1950s to serve as a zone of influence for its capital, Nantes, one of a handful of "balancing metropolises" (métropoles d'équilibre).[a]
Pays de la Loire is in western France, bordered by Brittany on the northwest, Normandy on the north, Centre-Val de Loire on the east, Nouvelle-Aquitaine on the south, and the Bay of Biscay of the North Atlantic Ocean on the southwest.
Pays de la Loire comprises five departments: Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe, Vendée.
Pays de la Loire is made up of the following historical provinces:
Thus the name of the region, chosen by the French central government, was not based on history, but a postwar creation of purely geographical reference: Pays ("lands") de la Loire ("of the Loire").
The Loire Valley, which is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site since 2000, is located both in the administrative regions of Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire. The majority of the châteaux of the Loire Valley such as Montsoreau, Angers, Saumur or Brézé in Pays de la Loire are located in the Maine-et-Loire department, Pays de la Loire has numerous prominent monuments, such as the castles of Laval, and the Nantes Château des Ducs de Bretagne, the Royal Fontevraud Abbey (the widest monastic ensemble in Europe), and the old city of Le Mans. It also has many natural parks such as the Brière and the Marsh of Poitou.
Evolution of the population listed by departments:
|Year||Population of the departments|
|Loire-Atlantique department||Maine-et-Loire department||Mayenne department||Sarthe department||Vendée department||Total Pays de la Loire|
A steep increase in the population was seen particularly as people migrated from all over France to the Loire region due to the rise of Nantes to prominence.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was €119.1 billion in 2018, accounting for 5.1% of French economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was €28,200 or 94% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 102% of the EU average.
The biggest city in Pays de la Loire is Nantes, which is the sixth most populated city in France with over 319,000 people (city proper) and a metropolitan population of almost 1,000,000.
Angers is another metropolis of the region. It has a metropolitan population of about 400,000 and is the third biggest job provider in north-western France, just behind Nantes and Rennes. Saint-Nazaire is a major harbour town downstream from Nantes on the mouth of the Loire river.
Le Mans is another city in Pays de la Loire. Situated in north-east Pays de la Loire, Le Mans area is home to over 300,000 (metropolitan population).