Cher (department)

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Prefecture of Cher, in Bourges
Prefecture of Cher, in Bourges
Flag of Cher
Coat of arms of Cher
Coat of arms
Location of Cher in France
Location of Cher in France
Country France
Region Centre-Val de Loire
Prefecture Bourges
Subprefectures Saint-Amand-Montrond
 • President of the General Council Michel Autissier (LR)
 • Total 7,235 km2 (2,793 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total 307,110
 • Rank 73rd
 • Density 42/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 18
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 19
Communes 287
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Cher (/ʃɛər/; French: [ʃɛʁ]; Berrichon: Char) is a department in the administrative region of Centre-Val de Loire, France. It is named after the Cher River.


Cher is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. Most of it was created, along with the adjacent department of Indre from the former province of Berry. The southeastern corner of the department, however, was part of the Duchy of Bourbon.


The department is part of the current administrative region of Centre-Val de Loire. It is surrounded by the departments of Indre, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Nièvre, Allier, and Creuse.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1791 207,541 —    
1801 217,785 +0.48%
1806 228,158 +0.93%
1821 239,561 +0.33%
1831 256,059 +0.67%
1841 273,645 +0.67%
1851 306,261 +1.13%
1861 323,393 +0.55%
1872 335,392 +0.33%
1881 351,405 +0.52%
1891 359,276 +0.22%
1901 345,543 −0.39%
1911 337,810 −0.23%
1921 304,800 −1.02%
1931 293,918 −0.36%
1936 288,695 −0.36%
1946 286,070 −0.09%
1954 284,376 −0.07%
1962 293,514 +0.40%
1968 304,601 +0.62%
1975 316,350 +0.54%
1982 320,174 +0.17%
1990 321,559 +0.05%
1999 314,428 −0.25%
2006 314,676 +0.01%
2016 307,110 −0.24%

The inhabitants of the department are called Berrichons from the former province of Berry.


The President of the General Council is Alain Rafesthain of the Socialist Party.

Party seats
Union for a Popular Movement 10
Socialist Party 9
French Communist Party 7
Miscellaneous Right 5
Miscellaneous Left 4

Current National Assembly representatives

Constituency Member[2] Party
1st François Cormier-Bouligeon La République En Marche!
2nd Nadia Essayan MoDem
3rd Loïc Kervran La République En Marche!


The Bourges Cathedral of St. Étienne is a major tourist attraction.

See also


The historical languages are Berrichon and the northern version of Bourbonnais. These are both dialects of French, or the Langues d'oïl. They are named respectively after the former Province of Berry and the former Duchy of Bourbon. Some 11 communes in the extreme South used to speak Occitan.

The old dialects were in widespread use until the middle decades of the twentieth century and incorporated major regional variations within the department, influenced by the dialects of adjacent regions near the departmental frontiers. During the twentieth century government educational policy promoted a more standardised version of the French language.

In the extreme south of the department influence from the southern Occitan language begins to appear, with "chambrat" being used in place of "grenier a foin" (hayloft), "betoulle" in place of "bouleau" (birch tree) and "aigue" in place of "eau" (water).


External links