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Upper Savoy

Prefecture building of the Haute-Savoie department, in Annecy
Prefecture building of the Haute-Savoie department, in Annecy
Flag of Upper Savoy
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Haute-Savoie in France
Location of Haute-Savoie in France
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Département 1860
Prefecture Annecy
Subprefectures Bonneville, Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, Thonon-les-Bains
 • Total 4,387.8 km2 (1,694.1 sq mi)
 • Total 783,127
 • Density 178.4783/km2 (462.257/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Haut-Savoyards
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code FR-74
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 17
Communes 281

Haute-Savoie is a département in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France, bordering Switzerland and Italy.


Before 1860, the territory of the modern Haute-Savoie and Savoie departments had been part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, as a Duchy, since 1713. Annexation of the region by France was made in 1860. In that year, the Emperor Napoléon III divided the territory in two departments: Savoie, to the south, with the city of Chambéry, and Haute-Savoie, to the north, with the city of Annecy.

Haute ("High") in the name Haute-Savoie is not because of the altitude but because of its position, to the north, in the territory.


The department of Haute-Savoie was created in 1860 from the northern part of the Duchy of Sardinia with four arrondissements: Annecy, Bonneville, Saint-Julien and Thonon. The capital was Annecy.

On 10 September 1926, the arrondissement of Saint-Julien was eliminated but became again an arrondissement in 1933.

During World War II, the department was occupied by the fascist Italy, from November 1942 to September 1943.


The Haute-Savoie is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It has an area of 4,387.8 km2 (1,694 sq mi).

The department borders with the Ain and Savoie departments, both in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and with Switzerland and Italy.

In the territory of the department is a part of the Mont Blanc massif, on the border with Italy. The average altitude of the department is of about 1,160 m (3,810 ft). The highest point in the department is Mont Blanc (45°49′58″N 6°51′53″E / 45.83278°N 6.86472°E / 45.83278; 6.86472 (Mont Blanc); it is 4,810 m (15,781 ft) high, the highest point of France, Italy and of Western Europe.

The Haute-Savoie department is within the watershed of the Rhône river but with short rivers. There are two important lakes in the department: the Lake Geneva, shared with Switzerland, and the Lake Annecy.


The Köppen climate classification type for the climate at Annecy is an "Oceanic climate" (also known as Maritime Temperate climate) and of the subtype Cfb.


Haute-Savoie is managed by the Departmental Council of Haute-Savoie in Annecy. The department is part of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Administrative divisions

There are 4 arrondissements (districts), 17 cantons and 281 communes (municipalities) in Haute-Savoie.

Arrondissements of the Haute-Savoie
Arrondissement Capital Population
741 Annecy Annecy 276,382 1,261.6 219.1 80
742 Bonneville Bonneville 184,093 1,558.2 118.1 61
743 Saint-Julien-en-Genevois Saint-Julien-en-Genevois 180,562 660.3 273.5 72
744 Thonon-les-Bains Thonon-les-Bains 142,090 907.7 156.5 68

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

  1. Annecy-1 (7401)
  2. Annecy-2 (7402)
  3. Annecy-le-Vieux (7403)
  4. Annemasse (7404)
  5. Bonneville (7405)
  6. Cluses (7406)
  7. Évian-les-Bains (7407)
  8. Faverges (7408)
  9. Gaillard (7409)
  10. Le Mont-Blanc (7410)
  11. La Roche-sur-Foron (7411)
  12. Rumilly (7412)
  13. Saint-Julien-en-Genevois (7413)
  14. Sallanches (7414)
  15. Sciez (7415)
  16. Seynod (7416)
  17. Thonon-les-Bains (7417)


The inhabitants of Haute-Savoie are known, in French, as Haut-Savoyards (women: Haut-Savoyardes).

Haute-Savoie had a population, in 2014, of 783,127, for a population density of 178.5 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Annecy, with 276,382 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.

Evolution of the population in Haute-Savoie

The communes in the department with more inhabitants are:

City Population
Annecy 53,285 Annecy
Thonon-les-Bains 34,973 Thonon-les-Bains
Annemasse 34,953 Saint-Julien-en-Genevois
Seynod 20,955 Annecy
Annecy-le-Vieux 20,469 Annecy
Cluses 17,510 Bonneville
Cran-Gevrier 17,257 Annecy
Sallanches 15,754 Bonneville
Rumilly 14,836 Annecy
Saint-Julien-en-Genevois 13,253 Saint-Julien-en-Genevois


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