Skip to main content

The Belle France guide to the new French Regions

In January 2016 the Assemblée Nationale of France adopted 13 new administrative regions, down from the previous 22. The Parliament's aim was to reduce costs and simplify bureaucracy.

We've pulled together this infographic to help explain the changes:

Before the 13 new regions came into effect, the country was divided into 22 administrative regions. These administrative regions shouldn't be confused with the traditional historical or cultural regions which each have their own cuisine, character and traditions.

So what's changed?

6 regions have remained the as they were:

  • Bretagne
  • Corse
  • Centre
  • Île-de-France
  • Pays de la Loire
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

There are now 7 new regions formed of:

  • Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine become Grand-Est 
  • Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes become Nouvelle Aquitaine
  • Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes merge
  • Bourgogne-Franche-Comté merge
  • Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées become Occitanie 
  • Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie are combined into Hauts-de-France
  • Basse-Normandie and Haute-Normandie are combined into Normandie

What happens to the regional administrative centres where the regions have changed?

7 remain the same:

  • Rennes remains the capital of Bretagne
  • Ajaccio is still the capital of Corse
  • Orleans continues to be the Centre's capital
  • Île-de-France, naturally has Paris as it's administrative center
  • Nantes is the capital of Pays de la Loire
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has Marseille as it's capital
  • Strasbourg was made capital of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine region in January 2015

Yet to be ratified, are the capitals for the following regions:

  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Lyon
  • Normandie - Rouen
  • Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie - Lille
  • Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes - Bordeaux
  • Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées - Toulouse
  • Bourgogne-Franche-Comté - Dijon