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Haut-Rhin facts for kids

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Prefecture]building of the Haut-Rhin department, in Colmar
Prefecture building of the Haut-Rhin department, in Colmar
Flag of Haut-Rhin
Coat of arms of Haut-Rhin
Coat of arms
Location of Haut-Rhin in France
Location of Haut-Rhin in France
Country France
Region Grand Est
Département 4 March 1790
Prefecture Colmar
Subprefectures Altkirch, Mulhouse, Thann
 • Total 3,525.2 km2 (1,361.1 sq mi)
 • Total 760,134
 • Density 215.629/km2 (558.476/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Haut-Rhinois
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code FR-68
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 17
Communes 366

Haut-Rhin is a department in the Grand Est region of France, named after the Rhine river that flows along its eastern border. Its name means Upper Rhine. The prefecture (capital) of Haut-Rhin is Colmar.


Haut-Rhin is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was divided in three districts: Altkirch, Belfort and Colmar, with Colmar as is capital.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the three districts were changed into five arrondissements: Colmar, Altkirch, Belfort, Delémont and Porrentruy. The arrondissements Delémont and Porrentruy were eliminated in 1814 and transferred to Switzerland.

The subprefecture of Altkirch was moved to Mulhouse in 1857.

The Haut-Rhin department was eliminated in 1871 when the territory became part of Germany except for a part that forms the Territoire de Belfort.

In 1919, Haut-Rhin is again an department when the territory became part of France with the arrondissements Colmar-Ville, Colmar-Campagne, Altkirch, Guebwiller, Mulhouse, Ribeauvillé and Thann. Its capital is Colmar.

The arrondissements Colmar-Ville and Colmar-Campagne were combined in 1934 to form the arrondissement of Colmar.

In 2015, the arrondissements of Guebwiller and Ribeauvillé were eliminated and the name of the arrondissements of Thann and Colmar were changed to Thann-Guebwiller and Colmar-Ribeauvillé.


Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departments of the former administrative Alsace region. It is in the Grand Est region and borders 3 departments in 2 regionsː

To the east, the department borders Germany along the Rhine river, and to the south it borders with Switzerland.

Haut-Rhin has an area of 3,525.2 km2 (1,361 sq mi). Its highest point is Grand Ballon (47°54′4″N 7°5′54″E / 47.90111°N 7.09833°E / 47.90111; 7.09833 (Grand Ballon)) in the Vosges Mountains, in the eastern part of the department; it is 1,424 m (4,672 ft) high. The lowest point is 179 m (587 ft) high along the Rhine river.

The main river in the department is the Rhine that forms the eastern border of the department, and of France.


The area around Colmar, at an altitude of about 210 m (690 ft), is characterized by climates with few extremes of temperature. The Köppen climate classification type for the climate at Strasbourg is a "Marine West Coast Climate" and of the subtype "Cfb".

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Strasbourg is 594.4 mm (23.4 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is June with 71.1 mm (2.8 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is February with an average of 33 mm (1.3 in).

The average temperature for the year in Strasbourg is 10 °C (50 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 18.9 °C (66.0 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 1.1 °C (34.0 °F).


Haut-Rhin is managed by the Departmental Council of Haut-Rhin in Colmar. The department is part of the Grand Est region.

Administrative divisions

There are 4 arrondissements (districts), 17 cantons and 366 communes (municipalities) in Haut-Rhin.

Arrondissements of Haut-Rhin
Arrondissement Capital Population
681 Altkirch Altkirch 69,645 663.1 105.0 108
682 Colmar-Ribeauvillé Colmar 200,243 1,127.3 177.6 98
684 Mulhouse Mulhouse 350,032 707.1 495.0 79
686 Thann-Guebwiller Thann 140,214 1,027.7 136.4 81

The following is a list of the 17 cantons of the Haut-Rhin department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Altkirch (6801)
  2. Brunstatt (6802)
  3. Cernay (6803)
  4. Colmar-1 (6804)
  5. Colmar-2 (6805)
  6. Ensisheim (6806)
  7. Guebwiller (6807)
  8. Kingersheim (6808)
  9. Masevaux (6809)
  10. Mulhouse-1 (6810)
  11. Mulhouse-2 (6811)
  12. Mulhouse-3 (6812)
  13. Rixheim (6813)
  14. Saint-Louis (6814)
  15. Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (6815)
  16. Wintzenheim (6816)
  17. Wittenheim (6817)


The inhabitants of the Haut-Rhin department are known, in French, as Haut-Rhinois or (women: Haut-Rhinoises),

Haut-Rhin had a population, in 2014, of 760,134, for a population density of 215.6 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Mulhouse, with 350,032 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.

Evolution of the population in Haut-Rhin

The 10 communes with more inhabitants in the Haut-Rhin department are:

City Population
Mulhouse 111,167 Mulhouse
Colmar 68,784 Colmar-Ribeauvillé
Saint-Louis 20,228 Mulhouse
Wittenheim 14,713 Mulhouse
Illzach 14,448 Mulhouse
Rixheim 13,773 Mulhouse
Kingersheim 12,918 Mulhouse
Riedisheim 12,102 Mulhouse
Cernay 11,723 Thann-Guebwiller
Guebwiller 11,297 Thann-Guebwiller


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