Fred Tanneau

Between land and sea, and Armor and Argoat

Brittany has been built over time by humans and the waves, and despite everything, it has maintained the same physiology. The granite cliffs and rocky mountains are marked with the Breton identity, and the rugged landscapes are criss-crossed by 30,000 km of rivers and streams. The main original feature of the region is its maritime aspect (2,730 km of coastline, which represents a third of the French coast, all towns are less than 80 km from the sea) and landscapes typical of both a maritime and inland region: dunes and cliffs, moors and bogs, and forests. Brittany covers 27,209 km2, which represents 5% of the national territory.

A mild climate

While the temperatures are fairly constant, there is a higher rate of sunshine than in Paris and the rain is frequent but light, the famously mild Brittany nevertheless experiences frequent winds, which are sometimes violent in winter.

Read Brittany’s "Carte d'Identité" (an information booklet on the region)

Visit the site for the Code de Marque Bretagne (Brittany’s brand code)Learn more about the coast of Brittany

Visit the site of "Glad", a portal for heritage in Brittany

One region, many territories

The administrative region of Brittany consists of 4 departments: Côtes d'Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine, and Morbihan. They all have one thing in common: all four have access to the sea. The region is also made up of 21 areas that correspond to the residential and work zones of Brittany. Rennes (Ille-et Vilaine) is the regional capital. Today there are 1,270 towns, including 10 urban agglomerations (Rennes, Brest, Vannes, Quimper, Saint-Brieuc, Lorient, Saint-Malo, Morlaix, Vitré, Lannion). Most of them have joined one of the 116 Établissements Publics de Coopération Intercommunale (EPCIs, or Public Establishments for Intercommunal Co-operation), which facilitate the creation of joint development projects. Another advantage is an evenly distributed network of medium-sized cities across the region.

3 million Bretons: a population boom

With an average of 25,000 new inhabitants per year since 2000, the population of Brittany continues to grow. In 2009, Brittany ranked 7th out of the French regions with 3.175 million inhabitants. The INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, or French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) expects this growth to continue, to the extent that the region could have between 3.7 and 3.8 million residents by 2030. This increase is mainly due to the migration of people over 30 and retirees.
This population boom is associated with a sharp increase in the number of marriages and births. With 37,800 new-borns in 2006, Brittany reached its highest birth rate in 25 years.

In the cities and in the countryside

The population of Brittany is distributed more equally than at national level: 71.5% of Bretons live in or on the outskirts of cities (the French average is 82%). The majority lives in towns with 1,000 to 5,000 inhabitants. The population density is equivalent to the national average (114 inhabitants per km2) but Brittany is unusual due to its lack of sparsely populated areas.

Visit the site of the Institut National des Statistiques et des Études Économiques

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