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Deux-Sèvres
Department
Niort from the Sèvre Nantaise river
Niort from the Sèvre Nantaise river
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Deux-Sèvres in France
Location of Deux-Sèvres in France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Département 4 March 1790
Area
 • Total 5,999.4 km2 (2,316.4 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 373,553
 • Density 62.2651/km2 (161.2658/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Deux-Sévriens
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-79
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 17
Communes 297
Website http://www.deux-sevres.com

Deux-Sèvres is a department in western France, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

Deux-Sèvres means literally "Two Sèvres": the Sèvre Nantaise and the Sèvre Niortaise; these are two rivers which flow through the department.

History

Deux-Sèvres is one of the 83 French departments made during the French revolution, on 4 March 1790.

The new department had six districts: Melle, Niort, Saint-Maixent, Parthenay, Thouars and Châtillon (today Mauléon). The capital (now prefecture) was Niort alternating Saint-Maixent and Parthenay but soon only Niort was the only capital.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the six districts were changed into four arrondissements: Melle, Niort, Parthenay and Thouars. Thouars was changed by Bressuire in 1804.

On 10 September 1926, the arrondissements of Bressuire and Melle were eliminated. On 1 June 1942, Bressuire was again an arrondissement.

The borders of the department were changed in 1973 when the inhabitants of the little commune of Puy-Saint-Bonnet joined the commune of Cholet in the neighbouring department of Maine-et-Loire.

Geography

Deux-Sèvres is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It has an area of 5,999.4 km2 (2,316 sq mi).

The highest point of the department is Terrier de Saint-Martin, 272 m (892 ft) high, in the commune of Saint-Martin-du-Fouilloux.

The department is bordered by the departments: Maine-et-Loire, Vienne, Charente, Charente-Maritime and Vendée.

The main rivers in the department are:

Climate

The climate of Niort is an oceanic climate with template summers, Cfb (Marine West Coast Climate) in the Köppen climate classification.

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Niort is 647.7 mm (25.5 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is September with 94 mm (3.7 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is July with an average of 25.4 mm (1.0 in).

The average temperature for the year in Niort is 12.5 °C (54.5 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 20.2 °C (68.4 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 5.5 °C (41.9 °F).

Administration

The department is managed by the Departamental Council of the Deux-Sèvres in Niort. Deux-Sèvres is part of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 17 cantons and 293 communes (municipalities) in Deux-Sèvres.

INSEE
code
Arrondissement Capital Population
(2014)
Area
(km²)
Density
(Inh./km²)
Communes
791 Bressuire Bressuire 96,703 1,622.6 59.6 53
792 Niort Niort 212,425 2,791.6 76.1 163
793 Parthenay Parthenay 64,425 1,585.1 40.6 77

The following is a list of the 17 cantons of the Deux-Sèvres department, following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Autize-Egray (7901)
  2. Bressuire (7902)
  3. Celles-sur-Belle (7903)
  4. Cerizay (7904)
  5. Frontenay-Rohan-Rohan (7905)
  6. La Gâtine (7906)
  7. Mauléon (7907)
  8. Melle (7908)
  9. Mignon-et-Boutonne (7909)
  10. Niort-1 (7910)
  11. Niort-2 (7911)
  12. Niort-3 (7912)
  13. Parthenay (7913)
  14. La Plaine Niortaise (7914)
  15. Saint-Maixent-l'École (7915)
  16. Thouars (7916)
  17. Le Val de Thouet (7917)

Demographics

The inhabitants of Deux-Sèvres are known, in French, as Deux-Sévriens (women: Deux-Sévriennes).

Deux-Sèvres has a population, in 2014, of 373,553, for a population density of 62.3 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Niort, with 212,425 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other two, Bressuire and Parthenay, have respectively 96,703 and 64,425 inhabitants.

Evolution of the population in Deux-Sèvres

The 10 main cities in the department are:

City Population
(2014)
Arrondissement
Niort 58,311 Niort
Bressuire 19,300 Bressuire
Parthenay 10,367 Parthenay
Thouars 9,241 Bressuire
Mauléon 8,463 Bressuire
Chauray 6,828 Niort
Saint-Maixent-l’École 6,537 Niort
Nueil-les-Aubiers 5,628 Bressuire
Aiffres 5,486 Niort
La Crèche 5,471 Niort

Economy

The department is still a very rural area, with a large proportion of the land of the department used for farming. Wheat and oats are the main products grown, as well as potatoes, apples, and walnuts. There are many vineyards in the north.

Gallery

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