Île-de-France, France

The Île-de-France is a region in northern France that is largely identical to the Paris metropolitan area and is therefore also known as the Paris agglomeration. The region consists of the city of Paris (with the serial number 75) and the departments of Essonne (91), Hauts-de-Seine (92), Seine-et-Marne (77), Seine-Saint-Denis (93), Val- d'Oise (95), Val de Marne (94) and Yvelines (78). It has an area of 12,012 km² and 12,395,148 inhabitants (as of January 2022). Important cities besides Paris, which is also the administrative center of the region, are Versailles, Boulogne-Billancourt, Montreuil, Argenteuil and Saint-Denis. The inhabitants are called Franciliens. The department with the ordinal number 75 forms the core city, the departments 92, 93 and 94 form the Petite Couronne (first inner suburban belt) and the departments 77, 78, 91 and 95 the Grande Couronne (second outer suburban belt). The region is heavily urbanized well into the outer suburbs. In its largest extent (northwest-southeast), the continuously built-up settlement area stretches over about 80 kilometers. With over 11 million inhabitants, the Paris metropolitan area, which includes large parts of the Île-de-France region, is the largest metropolitan area in the European Union, making Paris one of the megacities.

The name Île-de-France (German island of France) is today mostly explained with the location between the rivers Seine, Marne, Oise and Beuvronne, which enclose the area like an island. The name may also go back to an old Franconian name Liddle Franke, i.e. "small francs" or "small franc(en)reich". As a zone d'études et d'aménagement du territoire and NUTS 1 region, it is now also called the Région parisienne (Paris region).

The most common dialects in the Île-de-France are Francien (French) and Champenois, the Champagne dialect.



Le Bourget
Château de Vincennes
Disneyland Paris


Getting here

By plane
The region is home to the two Paris airports 1 Charles de Gaulle (IATA: CDG) and 2 Orly (IATA: ORY) , the largest airports in France. Both are served directly from various airports in German-speaking countries. Third, Beauvais Airport 3 (IATA: BVA) is just north of the Picardy region. It mainly serves as a hub for low-cost airlines such as Ryanair.

By train
Paris is the center of the French long-distance train network. There are six major train stations, each for one cardinal point. From German-speaking countries there are direct high-speed trains from Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich.


Get around

By car
Several free motorways and four-lane roads make it possible to travel in Île-de-France. However, there are often a lot of traffic jams: on weekdays, avoid using them between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (variable depending on proximity to Paris). The speed is limited to 110 km/h or even 90 km/h on the motorways near Paris.

The ring road: it is a road ring which marks the limit of “Paris intra muros”. It is used as a highway since there are no traffic lights or intersections. He is very famous for his clutter. Please note that priority on the right applies to incoming channels.
A13: (direction Rouen) Western motorway
A6: (towards Lyon) Southern Motorway
A5: (towards Lyon) South-East.
A86: Very practical, makes a full circle around Paris. The western part is paying and expensive. (1 € per km)
A14: chargeable and quite expensive.
N104: The Francilienne. It makes a semi-circle around Paris, by the east side, and at a greater distance than the A86. Its distance from Paris makes it a little less sensitive to congestion.
N118: Connects Paris-Ouest (Porte d'Auteuil and Boulogne) to the A10 and the N104.
to be completed...

The site http://www.sytadin.tm.fr gives the state of traffic in Île-de-France in real time.

5 RER lines (A, B, C, D and E), all connected to Paris, provide fairly fast connections with the capital. The different stations are divided into zones. Be careful, it sometimes costs less to take a 24-hour all-zone ticket than to take a return ticket between two distant zones (Go/Return Disneyland - Roissy, for example).


A bicycle
The bicycle is the best way to get around Paris intra muros to enjoy the city. Tracks specially designed for them exist on many certain arteries of the capital. Their plan is available here: http://www.paris.fr/portail/viewmultimediadocument?multimediadocument-id=12177

You have to be careful because you share the public road with cars and motorized two-wheelers.



Historically, Île-de-France is more extensive than today's region, as evidenced by the province of Île-de-France on the eve of the French Revolution.

The Île-de-France was the heartland of France, which was usually referred to by names like Francia or Franzien. The standard French language is based on the language of the royal court, which was based on the dialect of the Île-de-France along with other northern French dialects.

Since the subjugation of Syagrius by Clovis I, the area has been, with only a brief interruption in the 7th century, a political center of the Frankish kingdom of the Merovingians and Carolingians and from the 9th century of the West Frankish kingdom. For centuries it was identical to the French crown domain, the Domaine royal. From here the Gothic spread, which was originally the architectural style of this region and was therefore also considered the French "royal style". It was not until Louis XIV onwards that the French kings ruled from Versailles, where they created the imposing, much-copied Palace of Versailles.

With the formation of the departments in 1789/90, the province was dissolved as an administrative unit.

When the program regions (Régions de programme) were formed in 1956, the area was initially given the name Région Parisienne. In 1976, the Région Parisienne was officially renamed Île-de-France. However, the territory of the new region differs significantly from that of the former province in some areas. Like the other regions, Île-de-France has had a directly elected regional council since 1986.




The population of 10,952,011 at the time of the 1999 census has increased to 12,395,148 by 2022, according to estimates by the state statistical institute, INSEE, which means that the population density has increased from 912 to 1032 inhabitants per square kilometer. Île-de-France is by far the most populous, densely populated region of France. In 2022, 18.9 percent of all residents of European France, France métropolotaine, lived in Île-de-France.

The majority of the inhabitants live in the urban agglomeration (Unité urbaine) around Paris, which with 9,644,507 inhabitants (1999) is the largest in France and one of the largest in Europe. Just thirteen years later, in 2012, the Unité urbaine had a population of 10,550,350 and 10,706,072 in 2015.

The Paris metropolitan area (Aire urbaine), which is almost identical to the Île-de-France region, had 12,405,426 inhabitants in 2013 and 12,532,901 in 2015. In 2016 the population was already 12,568,755.

The following table shows the population development in the Île-de-France since 1876, divided into its eight departments: The data refer to the current territorial status, which has remained unchanged since the 1968 regional reform in the Île-de-France.

On January 1, 1968, the departments of Seine and Seine-et-Oise were dissolved by a law of 1964. The newly created department of Paris received the number 75 of the former department of Seine. The department of Yvelines received the number 78 of the former department of Seine-et-Oise. Three newly created departments received the numbers of the former Algerian departments of Alger, Oran and Constantine: Essonne received 91, Hauts-de-Seine 92, and Seine-Saint-Denis 93. The departments of Val-de-Marne received new numbers with the 94 and Val-d'Oise with the 95. The Seine department was divided into four new departments: Paris (consisting only of the city of Paris), Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne. The latter three departments also include some communes that previously belonged to the department of Seine-et-Oise. The department of Seine-et-Oise was divided into three new departments: Yvelines, Essonne and Val-d'Oise. Only the department of Seine-et-Marne, number 77, remained untouched by the territorial reform.

As can be seen in the following table, the population increase at the beginning of the 20th century mainly took place in Paris and the Petite Couronne. Since the 1930s, the population of Paris has been declining, due to severe overpopulation with a population density of about 30,000 inhabitants per square kilometer for the city of Paris in the 1920s. Paris was considered the most densely populated metropolis in Europe. Furthermore, the population density fell due to the modernization of apartments and the merger of small apartments (Paris has a very old building fabric). The reduction in the average household size, the emergence of offices and the better accessibility of the center through the ever better developed local public transport and newly built motorways into the banlieues also contributed to this development.

After decades of population decline, Paris experienced population growth again between 1997 and 2011. Since 2012, however, the population has been declining again.

Population growth in the Petite Couronne has stagnated since the 1960s, before showing a population growth that has continued since the late 1990s.

While until the 1950s the population grew mainly in Paris and the Petite Couronne and the Grande Couronne only grew less, this changed in the 1950s, where since then the population in the Grande Couronne has continued to grow to this day. The Grande Couronne grew particularly strongly in the 1960s and 1970s due to the construction of large housing estates and huge new development areas and the expansion of the Villes nouvelles, all of which are located in the Grande Couronne. The population growth continues to this day.

Today, the Petite Couronne is almost completely urbanized and has a very high population density, with an average of 5,000 to 9,000 inhabitants per km², depending on the department. With more than 20,000 inhabitants per km², Paris is still the most densely populated metropolis in Europe. The Grande Couronne also has a high population density for area departments, with the areas bordering the Petite Couronne showing a high degree of urbanization and the cities have grown together seamlessly with the cities of the Petite Couronne and these in turn seamlessly with Paris.

Today, all seven suburban departments of Île-de-France are growing in terms of population, with the Petite Couronne (because of its proximity and easy access to the center and lower prices than Paris) and the Seine-et-Marne department being the most recent many new development areas are growing the most. In all the departments of the Île-de-France, the population growth is due solely to a surplus of births. This amounts to around 110,000 people per year (with around 180,000 births and 70,000 deaths per year in the Île-de-France). Except for the department of Seine-et-Marne, all departments of the Île-de-France have a negative migration balance. This amounts to around −50,000 people per year. As a result, the region is growing by around 60,000 people per year, which corresponds to an annual increase of 0.5 percent and is exactly in line with the national average.

Since the mid-1970s, the Île-de-France region has recorded a migration loss compared to the rest of France. By then, the region had seen large gains from migration. Reasons for the migration loss are the high price level, the shortage of housing, the hustle and bustle of the big city and the desire for more living space, which can only be fulfilled in the countryside due to the high prices. The region is experiencing high migration losses, especially in the over-50s age group, which is due to the fact that many are retiring to the countryside or to the south of France because of the nicer weather.

It remains to be seen how the planned increase in the number of newly built apartments per year in the Île-de-France from the current 40,000 to 70,000 as part of the Le Grand Paris project will affect population development.


Petite Couronne and Grande Couronne

Since the problems of the inner departments bordering Paris often differ significantly from those of those further out, an (informal) distinction is occasionally made in this sense.

The Petite Couronne, the inner ring that surrounds Paris, summarizes the three departments that border Paris: Hauts-de-Seine (92), Seine-Saint-Denis (93) and Val-de-Marne (94) . Until 1967, these essentially formed the Seine department together with Paris. They are highly urbanized, with a high population density.

The Grande Couronne, the outer ring, consists of the departments of Seine-et-Marne (77), Yvelines (78), Essonne (91) and Val-d'Oise (95). The inner part of the Grande Couronne, which connects to the Petite Couronne, is also heavily urbanized. The urbanized zone in the Île-de-France, which is continuously built up, has a diameter of about 70 kilometers. Outside of this area, the Grande Couronne is still very rural in many areas. The only exceptions are a few regional centers such as Rambouillet, Provins and Étampes.



The Île-de-France region is by far the most prosperous in France and one of the most important economies in the world. The share of France's economic output was 30.5 percent in 2016, which corresponded to around 680 billion euros. In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union, expressed in purchasing power standards, the region achieved an index of 176 in 2015 (EU-28 = 100). In 2017, the unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, below the national average.

The Disneyland Resort Paris amusement park has existed in Marne-la-Vallée east of Paris since 1992.

One of the main business centers is La Défense, a high-rise district located on the western outskirts of the city of Paris.