13 October 2008


Île - de - France

Île-de-France ("Island of France") is one of the twenty-six administrative regions of France. Created as the "District of the Paris Region" in 1961, it was renamed as the "Île-de-France" région in 1976 when its administrative status was aligned with the other French administrative regions created in 1972. Despite the name change, Île-de-France is still popularly referred to by French people as the Région Parisienne ("Paris Region") or RP. Ninety percent of its territory is covered by the Paris aire urbaine (or "metropolitan area") which extends beyond its borders in places. With 11.6 million inhabitants Île-de-France is the most populated region of France. It has more residents than Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Sweden or all three Baltic states together, and a comparable population to the U.S. state of Ohio and the Canadian province of Ontario. It is the fourth most populous country subdivision in the European Union after England, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria. Economically, Île-de-France is one of the richest regions in the world: its total GDP was €500.8 billion in 2006 (US$629.2 billion at 2006 real exchange rates), nearly the entire GDP of the Netherlands, with a per capita GDP at €43,370 (US$54,482) the same year.

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