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Prefecture building of the Sarthe department, in Le Mans
Prefecture building of the Sarthe department, in Le Mans
Flag of Sarthe
Coat of arms of Sarthe
Coat of arms
Location of Sarthe in France
Location of Sarthe in France
Country France
Region Pays de la Loire
Prefecture Le Mans
Subprefectures La Flèche
 • President of the General Council Roland du Luart
 • Total 6,206 km2 (2,396 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total 567,561
 • Rank 46th
 • Density 91/km2 (240/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 72
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 354
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2
The Château de Boisclaireau, residence of the Gueroust family, Counts of Boisclaireau, in Sarthe.

Sarthe (French pronunciation: ​[saʁt]) is a department of the French region of Pays de la Loire situated in the Grand-Ouest of the country. It is named after the River Sarthe, which flows from east of Le Mans to just north of Angers.


In the late 18th century, before it was officially Sarthe, the nobility built their Mansions and Chateaux there, as an escape from Paris.

The department was created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, pursuant to the law of 22 December 1789, starting from a part of the province of Maine. The latter was divided into two departments, Sarthe to the east and Mayenne to the west.[1]

In Roman times, this province contained the city of Mans, and many of its ruins are still standing. The Roman Thermal Bathhouse attracts many tourists, as does the Theater of Aubigné-Racan, both located on the outskirts of Anjou, Maine, and Touraine.

Marin Mersenne, perhaps the most important scientific figure in the early 17th century, was born in the vicinity of Sarthe.


The department of Sarthe is at the north end of the administrative region of Pays de la Loire. It is south of Normandy and on the southern edge of the Armorican Massif. It is bordered by the departments of Orne, Eure-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Maine-et-Loire and Mayenne.

Approximately 300,000 people, comprising more than half of the department's population, live in Le Mans, its conurbation, or the essentially urban communes close by. The rest of the department retains a rural character, with agriculture as the chief part of the economy.

The arrival of the railways in 1854 boosted trade for the local economy. A TGV connection was constructed in 1989, connecting the community to high-speed transport.

In terms of road connections, the A11 autoroute, which was constructed to Le Mans from the east in 1978, enhances Sarthe's strategic position as the gateway to the French west.


Population development since 1801:

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1801 388,143 —    
1806 410,380 +1.12%
1821 428,432 +0.29%
1831 457,372 +0.66%
1841 470,535 +0.28%
1851 473,071 +0.05%
1861 466,155 −0.15%
1872 446,603 −0.39%
1881 438,917 −0.19%
1891 429,737 −0.21%
1901 422,699 −0.16%
1911 419,370 −0.08%
1921 389,235 −0.74%
1931 384,619 −0.12%
1936 388,519 +0.20%
1946 412,214 +0.59%
1954 420,393 +0.25%
1962 443,019 +0.66%
1968 461,839 +0.70%
1975 490,385 +0.86%
1982 504,768 +0.41%
1990 513,654 +0.22%
1999 529,851 +0.35%
2006 553,484 +0.63%
2011 565,718 +0.44%
2016 567,561 +0.07%


The department was the electoral base of former Prime Minister François Fillon, who since 2012 sits in the National Assembly of France for a constituency in central Paris.

Current National Assembly Representatives

Constituency Member[3] Party
Sarthe's 1st constituency Damien Pichereau La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 2nd constituency Marietta Karamanli Socialist Party
Sarthe's 3rd constituency Pascale Fontenel-Personne La République En Marche!
Sarthe's 4th constituency Stéphane Le Foll Socialist Party
Sarthe's 5th constituency Jean-Carles Grelier The Republicans


See also


  1. The Sarthe region
  2. Site sur la Population et les Limites Administratives de la France
  4. "Weekly auto agenda: Le Mans". The Independent. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links