Nord (French department)

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. Nord is bordered by three departments: Pas-de-Calais and Somme to the southwest and Aisne to the south. Its coastline faces the North Sea to the west and it borders Belgium to the north by the provinces of West Flanders and Hainaut and it shares a maritime border with Kent in the United Kingdom. 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.

Prefecture building of the Nord department, in Lille
Prefecture building of the Nord department, in Lille
Flag of Nord
Coat of arms of Nord
Location of Nord in France
Location of Nord in France
Coordinates: 50°23′N 03°19′E / 50.383°N 3.317°E / 50.383; 3.317

 • President of the Departmental CouncilChristian Poiret[1]
 • Total5,742.74 km2 (2,217.28 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2020)[2]
 • Total2,607,746
 • Rank1st
 • Density450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number59
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

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.

History Edit

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]

Geography Edit

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 Edit

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

Demographics Edit

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
YearPop.±% p.a.
source:SPLAF[6] and INSEE[7]

With a population of 2,608,346 in 2019,[3] Nord is the department with the largest population.

Politics Edit

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 Edit

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 Edit

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

Economy Edit

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.

Tourism Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Répertoire national des élus: les conseillers départementaux"., Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises (in French). 4 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Téléchargement du fichier d'ensemble des populations légales en 2020". The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. 29 December 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Populations légales 2019: 59 Nord, INSEE
  4. ^ a b "Dutch dialect" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022. (404 KB)
  5. ^ "Comparateur de territoire − Comparez les territoires de votre choix - Résultats pour les communes, départements, régions, intercommunalités... | Insee". (in French). Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Le SPLAF - Historique du Nord".
  7. ^ Population en historique depuis 1968, INSEE
  8. ^ "Christian Poiret, élu président du conseil départemental du Nord". France Bleu (in French). 1 July 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Départementales 2021 dans le Nord : découvrez les résultats définitifs du second tour". France 3 Hauts-de-France (in French). Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Présidentielles / Les résultats / Elections - Ministère de l'Intérieur" (in French). Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Résultats de l'élection présidentielle de 1995 par département". Politiquemania. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  12. ^ Assemblée Nationale (25 April 2022). "Assemblée nationale ~ Les députés, le vote de la loi, le Parlement français". Retrieved 30 April 2022.

External links Edit