Nord (French department)

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Prefecture building of the Nord department, in Lille
Prefecture building of the Nord department, in Lille
Flag of Nord
Coat of arms of Nord
Coat of arms
Location of Nord in France
Location of Nord in France
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Prefecture Lille
Subprefectures Avesnes-

 • President of the Departmental Council Christian Poiret[1]
 • Total 5,742.74 km2 (2,217.28 sq mi)
Population (Jan. 2018)[2]
 • Total Lua error in Module:Wd at line 405: invalid escape sequence near '"^'.
 • Rank 1st
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 59
Arrondissements 6
Cantons 41
Communes 648
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Nord (French pronunciation: [nɔʁ]; officially French: département du Nord; Picard: départémint dech Nord; Dutch: Noorderdepartement, lit. Northern Department) is a département in Hauts-de-France region, France bordering Belgium. It was created from the western halves of the historical counties of Flanders and Hainaut, and the Bishopric of Cambrai. The modern coat of arms was inherited from the County of Flanders.

Nord is the country's most populous département. It had a population of 2,608,346 in 2019.[3] It also contains the metropolitan region of Lille (the main city and the prefecture of the département), the fourth-largest urban area in France after Paris, Lyon and Marseille. The department is the part of France where the French Flemish dialect of Dutch has historically been spoken as a native language. Similarly, the distinct French Picard dialect Ch'ti is spoken there.


Tribes of the Belgae, such as the Menapii and Nervii were the first peoples recorded in the area later known as Nord.

During the 4th and 5th Centuries, Roman rulers of Gallia Belgica secured the route from the major port of Bononia (Boulogne) to Colonia (Cologne), by co-opting Germanic peoples north-east of this corridor, such as the Tungri. In effect, the area known later as Nord became an isogloss (linguistic border) between the Germanic and Romance languages. Saxon colonisation of the region from the 5th to the 8th centuries likely shifted the isogloss further south so that, by the 9th century, most people immediately north of Lille spoke a dialect of Old Dutch. This has remained evident in the place names of the region. After the County of Flanders became part of France in the 9th century, the isogloss moved north and east.[4]

Extent of West Flemish spoken in the arrondissement of Dunkirk in 1874 and 1972 respectively.

During the 14th century, much of the area came under the control of the Duchy of Burgundy and in subsequent centuries was therefore part of the Habsburg Netherlands (from 1482) and the Spanish Netherlands (1581).

Areas that later constituted Nord were ceded to France by treaties in 1659, 1668, and 1678, becoming the Counties of Flanders and Hainaut, and part of the Bishopric of Cambrai.

On 4 March 1790, during the French Revolution, Nord became one of the original 83 departments created to replace the counties.

Modern government policies making French the only official language have led to a decline in use of the Dutch West Flemish dialect. There are currently 20,000 speakers of a sub-dialect of West Flemish in the arrondissement of Dunkirk and it appears likely that this particular sub-dialect will be extinct within decades.[4]


Nord is part of the current Hauts-de-France region and is surrounded by the French departments of Pas-de-Calais, Somme, and Aisne, as well as by Belgium and the North Sea. Its area is 5,742.8 km2 (2,217.3 sq mi).[5] It is the longest department in metropolitan France, measuring 184 km from Fort-Philippe in the north-west to Anor in the south-east.

Situated in the north of the country along the western half of the Belgian frontier, the department is unusually long and narrow. The principal rivers are the following: Yser, Lys, Escaut, Scarpe, Sambre.

Principal towns

The most populous commune is Lille, the prefecture. With nearby Roubaix, Tourcoing and Villeneuve-d'Ascq, it constitutes the center of a cluster of industrial and former mining towns totalling slightly over a million inhabitants. As of 2019, there are 10 communes with more than 30,000 inhabitants:[3]

Commune Population (2019)
Lille 234,475
Roubaix 98,828
Tourcoing 98,656
Dunkirk 86,279
Villeneuve-d'Ascq 61,957
Valenciennes 43,229
Wattrelos 40,898
Douai 39,613
Marcq-en-Barœul 38,486
Cambrai 32,176


Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1801 765,001 —    
1806 839,530 +1.88%
1821 905,777 +0.51%
1831 989,938 +0.89%
1841 1,085,298 +0.92%
1851 1,158,285 +0.65%
1861 1,303,380 +1.19%
1872 1,447,764 +0.96%
1881 1,603,259 +1.14%
1891 1,736,341 +0.80%
1901 1,866,994 +0.73%
1911 1,961,780 +0.50%
1921 1,787,918 −0.92%
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1931 2,029,449 +1.28%
1936 2,022,167 −0.07%
1946 1,917,452 −0.53%
1954 2,098,545 +1.13%
1962 2,293,112 +1.11%
1968 2,417,899 +0.89%
1975 2,511,478 +0.54%
1982 2,520,526 +0.05%
1990 2,531,855 +0.06%
1999 2,555,020 +0.10%
2007 2,564,950 +0.05%
2012 2,587,128 +0.17%
2017 2,604,361 +0.13%
source:SPLAF[6] and INSEE[7]

With a population of 2,608,346 in 2019,[3] Nord is the department with the largest population, being approximately equal to that of Albania.


<templatestyles src="Module:Hatnote/styles.css"></templatestyles>

The President of the Departmental Council is the unaffiliated right-winger Christian Poiret.[8]

The first President of the Fifth Republic, General Charles de Gaulle, was born in Lille in the department on 22 November 1890.

Party Seats[9]
Union of the Right (UD) 30
Union of the Left (UG) 18
Miscellaneous right (DVD) 10
Union of the Centre and the Right (UCD) 8
French Communist Party (PCF) 4
Miscellaneous left (DVG) 4
Union of the Left and Ecologists (UGE) 4
Miscellaneous centre (DVC) 2
Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV) 2

Presidential elections second round

Election Winning Candidate Party % 2nd Place Candidate Party %
2022 Emmanuel Macron LREM 52.85 Marine Le Pen RN 47.15
2017[10] Emmanuel Macron LREM 56.90 Marine Le Pen FN 43.10
2012 François Hollande PS 52.88 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 47.12
2007 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 51.75 Ségolène Royal PS 48.25
2002[10] Jacques Chirac RPR 78.28 Jean-Marie Le Pen FN 21.72
1995[11] Lionel Jospin PS 53.70 Jacques Chirac RPR 46.30

Current National Assembly Representatives

<templatestyles src="Module:Hatnote/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Constituency Member[12] Party
Nord's 1st constituency Adrien Quatennens La France Insoumise
Nord's 2nd constituency Ugo Bernalicis La France Insoumise
Nord's 3rd constituency Christophe Di Pompeo La République En Marche!
Nord's 4th constituency Brigitte Liso La République En Marche!
Nord's 5th constituency Sébastien Huyghe The Republicans
Nord's 6th constituency Charlotte Lecocq La République En Marche!
Nord's 7th constituency Francis Vercamer Union of Democrats and Independents
Nord's 8th constituency Catherine Osson La République En Marche!
Nord's 9th constituency Valérie Petit La République En Marche!
Nord's 10th constituency Vincent Ledoux The Republicans
Nord's 11th constituency Laurent Pietraszewski La République En Marche!
Nord's 12th constituency Anne-Laure Cattelot La République En Marche!
Nord's 13th constituency Christian Hutin Citizen and Republican Movement
Nord's 14th constituency Paul Christophe The Republicans
Nord's 15th constituency Jennifer de Temmerman Liberties and Territories
Nord's 16th constituency Alain Bruneel French Communist Party
Nord's 17th constituency Dimitri Houbron La République En Marche!
Nord's 18th constituency Guy Bricout Union of Democrats and Independents
Nord's 19th constituency Sébastien Chenu National Rally
Nord's 20th constituency Fabien Roussel French Communist Party
Nord's 21st constituency Béatrice Descamps Union of Democrats and Independents


At the forefront of France's 19th century industrialisation, the area suffered severely during World War I and now faces the economic, social and environmental problems associated with the decline of coal mining with its neighbours following the earlier decline of the Lille-Roubaix textile industry.

Until recently, the department was dominated economically by coal mining, which extended through the heart of the department from neighbouring Artois into central Belgium.


See also


  1. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  2. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Populations légales 2019: 59 Nord, INSEE
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. (404 KB)
  5. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  6. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  7. Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  8. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  9. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  11. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  12. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

External links