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Last Updated: 29 January 2022


The Île de France region is one of the ancient provinces of France, and the one that has been the centre of power during most of French history thanks to its attractive city: Paris. Today the Paris Region is France’s premier administrative region for its population and economy.


A brief description of the Île de France

The River Seine in Paris © French Moments
The River Seine in Paris © French Moments

Paris, nicknamed the ‘City of Light’ is the most visited city in the world, and the banks of its River, the Seine, are listed by the UNESCO. Its major landmark, the fascinating Eiffel Tower is Paris’ showcase to the whole world.

The Île de France today still aims to preserve the rich heritage that has been built throughout the centuries: the fortified farms, the royal forests, the magnificent gothic cathedrals and churches (Notre-Dame de Paris, Sainte-Chapelle, Saint-Denis), the medieval castles and the extravagant palaces of the Kings of France (such as those of the Louvre, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Saint-Germain-en-Laye or Maisons-Laffitte).


Economy of the Île de France

The esplanade of La Défense © French Moments
The esplanade of La Défense © French Moments

Tourists may be surprised at some of the modern day projects such as the Grande Arche and Europe’s number 1 CBD La Défense, a symbol of the region’s economic power.

With transport infrastructure connecting the Île de France to the rest of the world, the region is a crossroad of European and international trade. With a population of 12 million (18.3% of the French population), it contributes to the production of a third of the economic wealth in France. The Île de France accounts for 6 million jobs, including 94% wages employment. A third of the 500 largest firms in the world have set their European headquarters in the Paris region.


Facts and figures

  • Population: 12,005,077 (2014)
  • Area: 12,012 km2
  • Regional capital: Paris
  • Other main cities: Versailles, Boulogne-Billancourt, Argenteuil, Saint-Denis, Bobigny
  • President of the Regional Council: Valérie Pécresse (Les Républicains)
  • Number of départements: 8
  • Main sites: Eiffel TowerLouvreNotre-Dame CathedralSaint-Denis Basilica, Palace of Versailles, Palace of Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Medieval Town of Provins, Disneyland Paris

Regions of France Ile de France June 2016 copyright French Moments

Visit the official website of Paris Region

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About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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  1. I would like to thanks France I really appreciate what did for me as welcoming me, educate me , entitle me to enter and enjoy inside his country, let us feel as a human being, let us know what does it mean human after forgetting in our countries, I will never forget French people and what France provide to us untill I die . Free medicine that my country did not, free medicaments that my country either did not and something that I am proud to finish the Master degree in hospitality Management. Thank you French people and France government , president and parliament.


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