- Total January 1, 2011 - Density

1,777,773 inhabitants 68.9 inhabitants per km ²

- Total - Share in France:

25,809 km ² 4.1%

Poitou -Charentes [ pwa tuʃaʀɑ ˌ ː t] ( Poitevin - saintongeais Poetou - Chérentes, Occitan Peitau Charantas ) is a region in western France. It consists of the departments of Charente, Charente -Maritime, Deux -Sèvres and Vienne. The region has an area of ​​25,809 km ² and 1,777,773 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011). Regional capital is Poitiers.

Coat of arms

Description: Five golden castles on a red background.

The five castles ( lrs cinq châteaux ) stand for the five historic landscapes Poitou, Aunis, Saintonge, Angoumois and Limousin.


The territory of the region belonged until 1789 to several historical provinces: the departments of Deux -Sèvres and Vienne were part of Poitou, which also included the still today the region Pays de la Loire belonging Vendée. The territory of the present-day departments of Charente -Maritime is approximately equal to the historic provinces of Aunis and Saintonge, Charente département that of that of the Angoumois. A prominent place in the history of the region is the necropolis of Bougon.

With the establishment of the Regions in France in 1960, the Poitou-Charentes region had been rebuilt in its current borders. In 1972, the region was granted the status of a Établissements public under the direction of a regional prefect. Due to the decentralization laws of 1982, the regions were given the status of Collectivités territorial ( regional ) as him until then only the municipalities and the department had possessed. In 1986, the regional councils were directly elected for the first time. Since then, the powers of the region against the central government in Paris was gradually extended. Current President of the Regional Council Poitou-Charentes is the former socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal.


The most densely populated cities in the Poitou -Charentes region are:

Political Structure

The Poitou-Charentes region is divided into four departments:


One important industry is still agriculture, whose most famous product is the cognac.

Expressed in comparison with the GDP of the European Union in purchasing power standards reached the region in 2006 an index of 91.0 (EU-27 = 100).