Haute-Garonne

Haute-Garonne (French pronunciation: [otɡaʁɔn]; Occitan: Nauta Garona; English: "Upper Garonne") is a department in the Occitanie region of Southwest France. Named after the Garonne, its prefecture and main city is Toulouse, the fourth-largest city in France. In 2016, it had a population of 1,348,183.

Haute-Garonne

Nauta Garona  (Occitan)
Prefecture building in Toulouse, with the city's cathedral in the background

Flag

Coat of arms
Location of Haute-Garonne in France
Coordinates: 43°25′N 1°30′E
CountryFrance
RegionOccitanie
PrefectureToulouse
SubprefecturesSaint-Gaudens
Muret
Government
  President of the Departmental CouncilGeorges Méric
Area
  Total6,309 km2 (2,436 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
  Total1,348,183
  Rank13th
  Density210/km2 (550/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Department number31
Arrondissements3
Cantons27
Communes586
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

History

Haute-Garonne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from part of the former province of Languedoc.

The department was originally larger. The reduction in its area resulted from an imperial decree dated 21 November 1808 and which established the neighbouring department of Tarn-et-Garonne, to the north. The new department, created in response to the pleadings of various locally powerful politicians, took territory from five surrounding departments including Haute-Garonne. The districts lost to Tarn-et-Garonne in 1808 were those of Montech and Castelsarrasin.

Geography

Haute-Garonne is part of the current region of Occitanie and is surrounded by the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Aude, and Ariège. It also borders Spain in the south (province of Lleida and province of Huesca).

The department is crossed by the upper course of the Garonne river (hence the name) for nearly 200 kilometers (120 mi). The borders of the department follow the river. The Garonne enters France from Spain at the town of Fos, and goes through Toulouse and leaves the department. The extreme south of the department lies in the Pyrenees mountain range and is very mountainous. The highest elevation is the Peak of Perdiguère, at 3,222 meters (10,571 feet) above sea level.

Politics

This department was the political base of former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

Departmental Council of Haute-Garonne

The Departmental Council of Haute-Garonne comprises 54 seats. In the 2015 departmental elections, the Socialist Party (PS) won 48 seats. The Republicans secured the remaining 6 seats. The President of the Departmental Council has been Georges Méric (PS) since 2015.

PartySeats
Socialist Party48
The Republicans6

Members of the National Assembly

Haute-Garonne elected the following members of the National Assembly during the 2017 legislative election:

ConstituencyMember[1]Party
Haute-Garonne's 1st constituency Pierre Cabaré La République En Marche!
Haute-Garonne's 2nd constituency Jean-Luc Lagleize MoDem
Haute-Garonne's 3rd constituency Corinne Vignon La République En Marche!
Haute-Garonne's 4th constituency Mickaël Nogal La République En Marche!
Haute-Garonne's 5th constituency Jean-François Portarrieu La République En Marche!
Haute-Garonne's 6th constituency Monique Iborra La République En Marche!
Haute-Garonne's 7th constituency Élisabeth Toutut-Picard La République En Marche!
Haute-Garonne's 8th constituency Joël Aviragnet Socialist Party
Haute-Garonne's 9th constituency Sandrine Mörch La République En Marche!
Haute-Garonne's 10th constituency Sébastien Nadot La République En Marche!

Demographics

The inhabitants of the department are called Haut-Garonnais. The greatest population concentration is around Toulouse. The south of the department is quite sparsely populated. More than a million people inhabited the department at the last census in 1999. Young people are well represented with 55% of the population under the age of 40 and of those, 16% are between the ages of 20 and 29. This is because Toulouse is a university town.

The largest towns are:

Commune Population (1999) Commune Population (1999)
Toulouse 390,350 Colomiers 28,538
Tournefeuille 22,758 Muret 20,735
Blagnac 20,586 Plaisance-du-Touch 14,164
Cugnaux 12,997 L'Union 12,141
Balma 11,944 Ramonville-Saint-Agne 11,696
Saint-Orens-de-Gameville 11,142 Saint-Gaudens 10,845
Castanet-Tolosan 10,250 Portet-sur-Garonne 8,737
Saint-Jean 8,362 Villeneuve-Tolosane 8,252
Revel 7,985 Castelginest 7,735
Pibrac 7,440 Fonsorbes 6,909

Tourism

Main sights

Haute-Garonne's main sights include:

Winter sports

The department has four ski resorts:

  • Peyragudes (1600 m -2450 m), 55 km of slopes
  • Luchon-Superbagnères (1440 m - 2260 m), 30 km of slopes
  • Le Mourtis (1380 m - 1816 m), 22 km of slopes
  • Bourg-d'Oueil (1350 m - 1500 m)

See also

References

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