Cantons of France

In centralized management system of France a canton (canton ) is a subdivision of the arrondissement, which is under a department.

In rural areas, there is a canton of multiple communes (French communes), while the larger cities are divided themselves into several cantons. In total there are 4,055 cantons, of which 172 are in French overseas territories (January 1, 2012).


The main function of the cantons today is that as election districts for the election of the general councils of the departments. As part of the cantonal elections in every canton of the General Councils ( conseiller général) is selected. The Councils of all the cantons of departments together constitute the General Council ( conseil général) - the "parliament" - the department. Due to their function as electoral districts, the cantons frequently be re-cut, to reflect a change in population distribution.

Special position of Paris

In Paris, where the city is identical to the Territory, there is no cantons. For the election of the City Council, they are not required as electoral districts.

For statistical purposes, the arrondissement are partially treated as cantons.

Administrative unit

In addition, the canton is a territorial subdivision of the state administration in the context of devolution of central government and often a territorial subdivision of the decentralized management of local authority department. However, self-government units like the 27 regions, 101 departments and 36,700 communities are not the cantons. As a simple administrative subdivision of the State is of no legal personality.

The chief town of a canton is often lower seat of government or department authorities or their branch offices. In any rural Canton a gendarmerie brigade is stationed at least.

Communities in several cantons

Number of municipalities are divided into several cantons. Mostly, these are for the division of cities in urban areas and surrounding regions. This municipality is in these cases of several cantons. Similarly, there are cantons, in addition to parts of a municipality include, one or more other communities.

In individual communities led mergers or reunions to special cases:

Communities in several cantons that are not the main town in all cantons

  • Aix -les- Bains, Antibes, Antony, Blois, Boulogne -sur -Mer, Bruay la Buissière, Cagnes -sur -Mer, Cannes, Champigny -sur- Marne, Charleville -Mezieres, Chartres, Chatenay -Malabry, Chelles, chenôve, Clamart, Clichy, Creil, Créteil, Drancy Dunkerque, Forbach (Moselle), Henin -Beaumont, Hérouville -Saint- Clair, Hyeres, Ivry- sur -Seine, La Chapelle -Saint- Luc, La Seyne -sur -Mer, Le Cannet, Le Grand- Quevilly, Meudon, Montlucon, Nimes, Petit -Bourg, Rezé, Rueil -Malmaison, Saint- Dizier, Saint- Étienne- du- Rouvray Saint- Omer ( Pas -de- Calais ), Saint- Ouen (Seine- Saint- Denis ), Savigny- sur -Orge, Villeneuve -Saint -Georges

Communities in several cantons which are not capital