Haut-Rhin (French pronunciation: [oʁɛ̃], lit.'Upper Rhine'; Alsatian: Owerelsàss or ‘s Iwerlànd;[3] German: Oberelsass, lit.'Upper Alsace') is a département in the Grand Est region, France, bordering both Germany and Switzerland. It is named after the river Rhine. Its name means Upper Rhine. Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departments of the former administrative Alsace region, the other being the Bas-Rhin (Lower Rhine). Especially after the 1871 cession of the southern territory known since 1922 as Territoire de Belfort, although it is still densely populated compared to the rest of metropolitan France. It had a population of 767,842 in 2020.[4]

's Owerlànd, Owerelsàss
Prefecture building of the Haut-Rhin department, in Colmar
Prefecture building of the Haut-Rhin department, in Colmar
Flag of Haut-Rhin
Coat of arms of Haut-Rhin
Location of Haut-Rhin in France
Location of Haut-Rhin in France
Coordinates: 47°57′51″N 7°19′11″E / 47.96417°N 7.31972°E / 47.96417; 7.31972
RegionGrand Est
 • PrefectLouis Laugier[1]
 • Total3,525 km2 (1,361 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2020)[2]
 • Total767,842
 • Rank29th
 • Density220/km2 (560/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number68
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

On 1 January 2021, the départements of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin were merged into the European Collectivity of Alsace.

History Edit

Haut-Rhin is one of the original 83 départements, created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790 through the application of the law of 22 December 1789 in respect of the southern half of the province of Alsace (Haute-Alsace).

Its boundaries have been modified many times:

Geography Edit

Haut-Rhin is bordered by the Territoire de Belfort and Vosges départements and the Vosges Mountains to the west, the Bas-Rhin département to the North, Switzerland to the south and its eastern border with Germany is also the Rhine. In the centre of the département lies a fertile plain. The climate is semi-continental.

Subdivisions Edit

The department consists of the following arrondissements:

Principal towns Edit

The most populous commune is Mulhouse; the prefecture Colmar is the second-most populous. As of 2020, there are 11 communes with more than 10,000 inhabitants:[4]

Commune Population (2020)
Mulhouse 108,038
Colmar 68,294
Saint-Louis 22,835
Wittenheim 15,065
Illzach 14,380
Rixheim 14,020
Kingersheim 13,230
Riedisheim 12,258
Cernay 11,559
Guebwiller 10,988
Wittelsheim 10,358

Demographics Edit

Population development since 1801:

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
YearPop.±% p.a.

Economy Edit

Haut-Rhin is one of the richest French départements. Mulhouse is the home of the Stellantis Mulhouse Plant automobile factory, where the Peugeot 2008 and Peugeot 508 are currently built. The lowest unemployment rate in France can be found in the Southern Sundgau region (approximately 2%). The countryside is marked by hills. Many Haut-Rhinois work in Switzerland, especially in the chemical industries of Basel, but commute from France where living costs are lower. However, the region does have some of France's worst socio-economic inequalities; Mulhouse has long been one of France's poorest major cities.

Law Edit

Alsace and the adjacent Moselle department have a legal system slightly different from the rest of France. The statutes in question date from the period 1871–1919 when the area was part of the German Empire. With the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, Paris accepted that Alsace and Moselle should retain some local laws in respect of certain matters, especially with regard to hunting, economic life, local government relationships, health insurance and social rights. It includes notably the absence of any formal separation between church and state: several mainstream denominations of the Christian church benefit from state funding, in contrast to principles applied in the rest of France.

Politics Edit

Presidential elections 2nd round Edit

Election Winning Candidate Party % 2nd Place Candidate Party %
2022 Emmanuel Macron LREM 52.90 Marine Le Pen FN 47.10
2017[7] Emmanuel Macron LREM 57.97 Marine Le Pen FN 42.03
2012 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 63.33 François Hollande PS 36.67
2007 Nicolas Sarkozy UMP 65.39 Ségolène Royal PS 34.61
2002[7] Jacques Chirac RPR 77.65 Jean-Marie Le Pen FN 22.35
1995[8] Jacques Chirac RPR 57.26 Lionel Jospin PS 42.74

Current National Assembly Representatives Edit

Constituency Member[9] Party
Haut-Rhin's 1st constituency Éric Straumann The Republicans
Haut-Rhin's 2nd constituency Jacques Cattin The Republicans
Haut-Rhin's 3rd constituency Jean-Luc Reitzer The Republicans
Haut-Rhin's 4th constituency Raphaël Schellenberger The Republicans
Haut-Rhin's 5th constituency Olivier Becht Agir
Haut-Rhin's 6th constituency Bruno Fuchs La République En Marche!

Tourism Edit

Culture Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Décret du 29 juillet 2020 portant nomination du préfet du Haut-Rhin, Légifrance
  2. ^ "Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2020". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2022.
  3. ^ Office pour la Langue et la Culture d’Alsace. "Wàs brücht m'r im Elsàss ? Petit lexique français-alsacien" (PDF). oclalsace.org (in French). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Populations légales en vigueur à compter du 1er janvier 2023: 68 Haut-Rhin" (PDF). INSEE. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  5. ^ "Historique du Haut-Rhin". Le SPLAF.
  6. ^ "Évolution et structure de la population en 2016". INSEE.
  7. ^ a b "Présidentielles".
  8. ^ "Résultats de l'élection présidentielle de 1995 par département - Politiquemania".
  9. ^ Nationale, Assemblée. "Assemblée nationale ~ Les députés, le vote de la loi, le Parlement français". Assemblée nationale.

External links Edit