Yonne facts for kids

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Prefecture building of the Yonne department, in Auxerre
Prefecture building of the Yonne department, in Auxerre.
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Yonne in France
Yonne in France
Country France
Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Département 4 March 1790
 • Total 7,427.4 km2 (2,867.7 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 342,463
 • Rank 66th
 • Density 46.1081/km2 (119.4193/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Icaunais
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-89
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 42
Communes 455
Website www.cg89.fr

Yonne is a department in the centre of France, in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. The largest city in the department, and its prefecture (capital), is Auxerre.

The department is named after the Yonne river, a tributary of the Seine, that flows through the department. The Celts name of the river was Ica-onna (in Latin, Icauna) and from this name come the name of the river and of the people living in the department: Icaunais.


During the Roman times, the main city in the territory of the present department was Sens, the capital of one Roman province.

Yonne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790 with Auxerre as its capital. It was formed from combined parts of the old provinces of Burgundy, Champagne and Île-de-France.

It was divided in seven districts: Auxerre, Sens, Joigny, Saint-Fargeau, Avallon, Tonnerre and Saint-Florentin.

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the seven districts were changed into five arrondissements: Auxerre, Avallon, Joigny, Sens and Tonnerre. On 10 September 1926, the arrondissements of Joigny and Tonnerre were eliminated.


Carte de l'Yonne
Map of Yonne.

Yonne is part of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. It has an area of 7,427.4 km2 (2,868 sq mi).

The department borders with 5 other departments:

The northern part of the department is formed by plains that are part of the great plain of Paris. The mountains of the Morvan and the hills of the Auxerrois (the region around the city of Auxerre) are in the southern half of the department.

The main river in the department is the Yonne, a tributary of the Seine river and that flows through the department from south to north. Other rivers that flow through the department are the Armançon, Loing, Ouanne and Serein rivers.


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

The average temperature for the year in Auxerre is 11.5 °C (52.7 °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 3.6 °C (38.5 °F).

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Auxerre is 957.6 mm (37.70 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is December with 106.7 mm (4.20 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is April with an average of 63.5 mm (2.50 in).


Yonne is managed by the General Council of Yonne in Auxerre. The department is part of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 42 cantons and 455 communes municipalities) in Yonne.

Arrondissement Capital Population
Cantons Communes
Auxerre Auxerre 181,338   3,514.6   51.6 22 197
Avallon Avallon 49,130   2,209.2   22.2 10 149
Sens Sens 111,995   1703.6   65.7 10 109
Total   342,463   7,427.4   46.1 42 455

Cantons of the arrondissement of Auxerre:

  1. Aillant-sur-Tholon
  2. Auxerre-Est
  3. Auxerre-Nord
  4. Auxerre-Nord-Ouest
  5. Auxerre-Sud
  6. Auxerre-Sud-Ouest
  7. Bléneau
  8. Brienon-sur-Armançon
  9. Chablis
  10. Charny
  11. Coulanges-la-Vineuse
  12. Coulanges-sur-Yonne
  13. Courson-les-Carrières
  14. Joigny
  15. Ligny-le-Châtel
  16. Migennes
  17. Saint-Fargeau
  18. Saint-Florentin
  19. Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye
  20. Seignelay
  21. Toucy
  22. Vermenton

Cantons of the arrondissement of Avallon:

  1. Ancy-le-Franc
  2. Avallon
  3. Cruzy-le-Châtel
  4. Flogny-la-Chapelle
  5. Guillon
  6. L'Isle-sur-Serein
  7. Noyers
  8. Quarré-les-Tombes
  9. Tonnerre
  10. Vézelay

Cantons of the arrondissement of Sens:

  1. Cerisiers
  2. Chéroy
  3. Pont-sur-Yonne
  4. Saint-Julien-du-Sault
  5. Sens-Nord-Est
  6. Sens-Ouest
  7. Sens-Sud-Est
  8. Sergines
  9. Villeneuve-l'Archevêque
  10. Villeneuve-sur-Yonne


The inhabitants of Yonne are known, in French, as Icaunais (women: Icaunaises).

Yonne had a population, in 2011, of 342,463, for a population density of 46.1 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Auxerre, with 181,338 inhabitants, is the arrondissement with more inhabitants.

The cities with more than 5,000 inhabitants in the department are:

City Population
Auxerre 35,534 Auxerre
Sens 25,146 Sens
Joigny 10,053 Auxerre
Avallon 7,229 Avallon
Migennes 7,126 Auxerre
Villeneuve-sur-Yonne 5,315 Sens
Tonnerre 5,235 Avallon


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