Coordinates: 45°20′N 3°00′E / 45.333°N 3.000°E / 45.333; 3.000
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Auvèrnhe / Auvèrnha  (Occitan)
Flag of Auvergne
Coat of arms of Auvergne
Coordinates: 45°20′N 3°00′E / 45.333°N 3.000°E / 45.333; 3.000
Country France
Dissolved1 January 2016
 • PresidentRené Souchon (PS)
 • Total26,013 km2 (10,044 sq mi)
 • Total1,357,668
 • Density52/km2 (140/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-C
GDP (2012)[2]Ranked 19th
Total€33.8 billion (US$47.29 bn)
Per capita€24,920 (US$34,868)
NUTS RegionFR7

Auvergne (Occitan: Auvèrnha / Auvèrnhe) is a former administrative region of France. It is now part of the administrative region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is in the Massif Central in south-central France. The inhabitants of the region are known as Auvergnats.

The four departments in Auvergne were Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire, and Puy-de-Dôme. Its capital was Clermont-Ferrand.

History[change | change source]

The region of Auvergne was named after the Arverni, one of the most powerful Gallic tribes.

The administrative region of Auvergne was formed with the territory of the old province of Auvergne, most of the territory of the Bourbonnais and small parts of Languedoc and Lyonnais.

During World War II, Vichy (a city in the department of Allier) was the headquarters of the government of the French State.

Geography[change | change source]

The Auvergne region has an area of 26,013 km2 (10,044 sq mi),[3][4] 4.8% of France's total surface area. It was surrounded by six other former regions: Burgundy to the northeast, Rhône-Alpes to the east and to the southeast, Languedoc-Roussillon to the south, Midi-Pyrénées to the southwest, Limousin to the west and Centre-Val de Loire to the northwest.

The landscape of the region varies greatly, with valleys, mountain, meadows and forests. Much of the regions is in the Massif Central, a high region in south-central France with mountains and plateaus.

There are many dormant volcanoes (volcanoes that are not active) in Auvergne, mainly in the Monts Dore and in the Chaîne des Puys. The highest point in Auvergne is the Puy de Sancy (45°31′42″N 2°48′50″E / 45.52833°N 2.81389°E / 45.52833; 2.81389 (Puy de Sancy)), at 1,885 m (6,184 ft) high.[5]

The "Chaîne des Puys" in Puy-de-Dôme

The northern part of the region (in the Allier department) is a land of small hills cut in two parts by a plain, the valley of the Allier river.

Auvergne has about 50 freshwater ponds and lakes. Some are high in the mountains and have volcanic origins. The Guéry Lake is, at 1,244 m (4,081 ft) high in the Puy-de-Dôme department, the highest lake in Auvergne.

The main rivers of the region are the:

  • Loire, that runs through the Haute-Loire in the southeast and then, after returning from the Rhône-Alpes region, makes the northeastern border of the Allier department; and
  • Allier, that runs though the centre of the region.

Departments[change | change source]

The Auvergne region was formed by four departments:

Département Préfecture ISO
Allier Moulins FR-03 342,911   7,340 46.7
Cantal Aurillac FR-15 147,415 5,726 25.7
Haute-Loire Le Puy-en-Velay FR-43 225,686 4,977 45.3
Puy-de-Dôme Clermont-Ferrand FR-63 638,092 7,970 80.1

Demographics[change | change source]

The Auvergne region had a population, in 2012, of 1,354,104,[7] for a population density of 52.1 inhabitants/km2.

Seat of the former regional council of Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand.

The ten main cities in the department are:

City Population
Clermont-Ferrand 141,569 Puy-de-Dôme
Montluçon 38,072 Allier
Aurillac 27,074 Cantal
Vichy 25,315 Allier
Cournon-d'Auvergne 19,223 Puy-de-Dôme
Moulins 18,959 Allier
Le Puy-en-Velay 18,599 Haute-Loire
Riom 18,484 Puy-de-Dôme
Chamalières 17,480 Puy-de-Dôme
Issoire 14,296 Puy-de-Dôme

Economy[change | change source]

The region is predominantly agricultural. Cattle are common and are used both for meat (beef) and for milk, which is made into a number of well-known cheeses such as Bleu d'Auvergne, Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert and Saint-Nectaire.

The main industry in Auvergne is the tyre industry, represented by Michelin, with headquarters and history in Clermont-Ferrand, and Dunlop in Montluçon.

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. INSEE (31 December 2015). "Populations légales 2013" [2013 legal populations] (in French). Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  2. INSEE. "Produits intérieurs bruts régionaux et valeurs ajoutées régionales de 1990 à 2012" (in French). Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Departments of France". Statoids. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  4. "France: Bourgogne (Burgundy)". City Population. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  5. "Puy de Sancy, France". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Populations légales 2012 des départements et des collectivités d'outre-mer" (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  7. "Populations légales 2012 des régions" (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  8. "Les fromages d'Auvergne". France Bleu. Retrieved 21 July 2023.

Other websites[change | change source]