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Ain
Department
Prefecture building of the Ain department, in Bourg-en-Bresse
Prefecture building of the Ain department, in Bourg-en-Bresse
Flag of Ain
Flag
Coat of arms of Ain
Coat of arms
Location of Ain in France
Location of Ain in France
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Département 4 March 1790
Area
 • Total 5,762.4 km2 (2,224.9 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 626,127
 • Density 108.6573/km2 (281.4212/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-01
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 23
Communes 410
Website www.ain.fr/

Ain is a department in the east of France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is named after the river Ain. Its prefecture is Bourg-en-Bresse.

History

Ain is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790 with Bourg-en-Bresse as is capital. It was formed with four former provinces: Bresse, Bugey, Dombes, Pays de Gex and part of the province of Franc-Lyonnais.

It was divided in nine districts: Pont-de-Vaux, Bourg, Nantua, Gex, Belley, Saint-Rambert, Montluel, Trévoux and Châtillon-les-Dombes.

The department was called départment of Bresse but in 1791 was changed to its present name: départment de l'Ain.

In 1798, Gex was separated from Ain for the creation of the old department of Léman.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the nine districts were changed into four arrondissements: Bourg, Belley, Nantua and Trévoux.

The department of Léman was eliminated in 1814 and Gex was again part of the department of Ain. In 1815, some communes of Gex are passed to Switzerland and the arrondissement of Gex is created.

On 10 September 1926, the arrondissements of Gex and Trévoux were eliminated but in 1933 Gex was made again an arrondissement.

Geography

Ain
Map of Ain

Ain is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It has an area of 5,762.4 km2 (2,225 sq mi).

The department borders with Switzerland and 6 other departments in 2 regions:

The territory of the Ain department is formed by five regions:

  1. Bresse, a plain between the Saône river to the east and the Jura mountains to the west.
  2. Bugey-Valromey, surrounded by the Rhône and the Ain rivers, in the southern end of the Jura mountains.
  3. Dombes-Plain of the Ain, in the southeast of the department, surrounded by the Rhône and the Saône rivers. Here there are many ponds and small lakes where fishes are commercially grown.
  4. Pays de Gex. It has the Swiss border to the east, the mountains of Bugey to the west and the Jura mountains to the north. Here is the highest point of the Jura mountains and of the Ain department: Crêt de la Neige (46°16′22″N 05°56′40″E / 46.27278°N 5.94444°E / 46.27278; 5.94444 (Crêt de la Neige)), 1,720 m (5,643 ft) high.
  5. Revermont. Here there are two ranges of low mountains that go from north to south with a valley between them: the valley of the Suran river. This region is between the Bresse and Bugey-Valromey regions.

The lowest point of the department is on the Rhône river, 170 m (560 ft) high.

Several rivers flow through the department; the main rivers are the Rhône, the Ain and the Saône. The largest natural lake is the Nantua lake, with an area of 1.41 km2 (0.54 sq mi).

Climate

The Köppen climate classification type for the climate at Château-Gaillard (Ain) is an "Oceanic climate" (also known as Marine West Coast Climate) and of the subtype Cfb.

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Château-Gaillard is 645.2 mm (25.4 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is October with 63.5 mm (2.5 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is February with an average of 43.2 mm (1.7 in).

The average temperature for the year in Château-Gaillard is 11.5 °C (52.7 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 20.8 °C (69.4 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 2.6 °C (36.7 °F).

Climate data for Château-Gaillard, France
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.9
(42.6)
7.9
(46.2)
12.7
(54.9)
16.1
(61)
20.4
(68.7)
24.1
(75.4)
27
(81)
26.6
(79.9)
22
(72)
16.9
(62.4)
10.3
(50.5)
6.5
(43.7)
16.37
(61.46)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.6
(36.7)
3.8
(38.8)
7.5
(45.5)
10.6
(51.1)
14.9
(58.8)
18.2
(64.8)
20.8
(69.4)
20.3
(68.5)
16.5
(61.7)
12.5
(54.5)
6.7
(44.1)
3.5
(38.3)
11.49
(52.69)
Average low °C (°F) -0.8
(30.6)
-0.3
(31.5)
2.3
(36.1)
5
(41)
9.4
(48.9)
12.3
(54.1)
14.6
(58.3)
14
(57)
10.9
(51.6)
8.1
(46.6)
3
(37)
0.4
(32.7)
6.58
(43.84)
Rainfall mm (inches) 50.5
(1.988)
42.1
(1.657)
47.7
(1.878)
50.9
(2.004)
61.7
(2.429)
56.6
(2.228)
54.4
(2.142)
52.2
(2.055)
53.3
(2.098)
63.6
(2.504)
51.2
(2.016)
60.6
(2.386)
644.8
(25.386)
Source: Weatherbase.com [1]

Administration

Ain is managed by the Departmental Council of Ain in Bourg-en-Bresse. The department is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Administrative divisions

There are 4 arrondissements (districts), 23 cantons and 410 communes (municipalities) in Ain.

Arrondissements of the Ain
INSEE
code
Arrondissement Capital Population
(2014)
Area
(km²)
Density
(Inh./km²)
Communes
011 Belley Belley 98,110 1,394.5 70.4 115
012 Bourg-en-Bresse Bourg-en-Bresse 354,177 3,104.8 114.1 201
013 Gex Gex 89,200 426.2 209.3 27
014 Nantua Nantua 84,640 837.0 101.1 65

The following is a list of the 23 cantons of the Ain department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Ambérieu-en-Bugey (0101)
  2. Attignat (0102)
  3. Bellegarde-sur-Valserine (0103)
  4. Belley (0104)
  5. Bourg-en-Bresse-1 (0105)
  6. Bourg-en-Bresse-2 (0106)
  7. Ceyzériat (0107)
  8. Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne (0108)
  9. Gex (0109)
  10. Hauteville-Lompnes (0110)
  11. Lagnieu (0111)
  12. Meximieux (0112)
  13. Miribel (0113)
  14. Nantua (0114)
  15. Oyonnax (0115)
  16. Pont-d'Ain (0116)
  17. Replonges (0117)
  18. Saint-Étienne-du-Bois (0118)
  19. Saint-Genis-Pouilly (0119)
  20. Thoiry (0120)
  21. Trévoux (0121)
  22. Villars-les-Dombes (0122)
  23. Vonnas (0123)

Demographics

There is not an official demonym for the inhabitants of the Ain department; people are named after the regions:

  • Bresse - Bressans
  • Bugey - Bugistes
  • Revermont - Revermontois
  • Dombes - Dombistes
  • Pays de Gex - Gessiens

Ain had a population, in 2014, of 626,127, for a population density of 108.7 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Bourg-en-Bresse, with 354,177 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.

The communes in the department with more than 8,000 inhabitants are:

City Population
(2014)
Arrondissement
Bourg-en-Bresse 40,967 Bourg-en-Bresse
Oyonnax 22,485 Nantua
Ambérieu-en-Bugey 14,022 Belley
Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 11,745 Nantua
Gex 11,141 Gex
Saint-Genis-Pouilly 9,854 Gex
Miribel 9,425 Bourg-en-Bresse
Ferney-Voltaire 9,337 Gex
Divonne-les-Bains 9,100 Gex
Belley 8,983 Belley

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