Pas-de-Calais department

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Coat of arms of the department of Pas-de-Calais
Finistère Côtes-d’Armor Ille-et-Vilaine Morbihan Loire-Atlantique Vendée Manche Mayenne Orne Calvados Maine-et-Loire Sarthe Indre-et-Loire Vienne Deux-Sèvres Indre Loir-et-Cher Eure Eure-et-Loir Seine-Maritime Oise Aisne Somme Pas-de-Calais Nord Ardennes Marne Meuse Meurthe-et-Moselle Haute-Marne Vosges Moselle Haut-Rhin Bas-Rhin Territoire de Belfort Cher Loiret Yonne Aube Côte-d’Or Nièvre Haute-Saône Essonne Yvelines Seine-et-Marne Val-d’Oise Hauts-de-Seine Val-de-Marne Seine-Saint-Denis Paris Doubs Jura Saône-et-Loire Allier Creuse Haute-Vienne Charente Charente-Maritime Corrèze Dordogne Gironde Puy-de-Dôme Loire Rhône Ain Haute-Savoie Cantal Lot Savoie Haute-Loire Isère Ardèche Landes Lot-et-Garonne Hautes-Alpes Drôme Alpes-Maritimes Var Alpes-de-Haute-Provence Vaucluse Bouches-du-Rhône Gard Hérault Lozère Aveyron Tarn Tarn-et-Garonne Gers Pyrènèes-Atlantiques Hautes-Pyrénées Aude Pyrénées-Orientales Haute-Garonne Ariège Haute-Corse Corse-du-Sud Vereinigtes Königreich Andorra Guernsey Jersey Niederlande Belgien Luxemburg Deutschland Liechtenstein Monaco Österreich Schweiz Italien SpanienLocation of the Pas-de-Calais department in France
About this picture
region Hauts-de-France
prefecture Arras
Sub-prefecture (s) Béthune
Residents 1,468,018 (Jan. 1, 2017)
Population density 220 inhabitants per km²
surface 6,671.91 km²
Arrondissements 7th
Community associations 20th
Cantons 39
Communities 890
President of the
Department Council
Jean-Claude Leroy
ISO-3166-2 code FR-62
Location of the Pas-de-Calais
Location of the department of Pas-de-Calais in the
region of Hauts-de-France

The Pas-de-Calais [ pɑdkalɛ ] is the French department with the atomic number 62. It is in the north of the country in the region Hauts-de-France and by the Straits Dover Straits (Straits of Calais; pas represents passage ) , which separates France from England . Its administrative seat is in Arras .


The department is bordered to the west and northwest on the English Channel and the Strait of Dover, running in a wedge shape in the interior and is bordered to the northeast by the department of North and the south by the department of Somme .

Significant rivers in the department are Authie , Canche , Ternoise , Liane , Sensée , Scarpe , Deûle , Lys and Aa .

coat of arms

Description : The blue coat of arms with a golden border and three red balls is studded with golden lilies and a continuous red tournament collar on the head of the shield with three golden forts in each of the bibs.


Pas-de-Calais is one of 83 departments created on March 4, 1790, during the French Revolution, under the law of December 22, 1789. It was created by amalgamating the Artois and parts of Picardy (the Boulonnais and part of the Ponthieu ).

The stone circle Les Sept Bonnettes stands in the fields south of the village of Sailly-en-Ostrevent.

The birthplace of Philippe Pétain , Cauchy-à-la-Tour , is also in the department. The region has been a political stronghold of the French Communist Party ( PCF ) since the 1920s .

During World War II , Pas-de-Calais played a role in the Fortitude deception operation , in which the Allies wanted the Wehrmacht to believe that the 1st US Army Group from Great Britain would land in the department .

From 1960 to 2015 it was part of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region , which in 2016 became part of the Hauts-de-France region.


The inhabitants of the department are called Pas-de-Calaisiens .


The Pas-de-Calais department is one of the most populous and urban in all of France. Yet there is no big city : the agglomeration of Calais hardly exceeds 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Boulogne-sur-Mer and Arras ; As an agglomeration, Saint-Omer has more than 50,000 inhabitants.

The most densely populated part of the Pas-de-Calais is the brazier of Lens in the east of the department, which had its development in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Here, too, you will not find large cities, but around larger towns ( Lens , Liévin , Béthune , Bruay-la-Buissière , Hénin-Beaumont ) a multitude of smaller towns that have grown together, which together form a large urban area that extends into the North to Douai department and Valenciennes continues. This agglomeration covers an area with 1.2 million people, half of them in the Pas-de-Calais. In contrast, the middle and south of the department are very rural, but also densely populated.

Up until the First World War , the coal industry led to an increased population growth (700,000 inhabitants around 1850, almost 1,000,000 in 1900). The war directly affected the department, which at the time was under German occupation and was one of the most important parts of the battlefield. However, population growth continued unabated after the end of the war until 1,200,000 inhabitants were reached. After the Great Depression in 1929, there was a decline, which was followed by World War II . After 1945 the population rose again over a period of 20 years, from 1,168,545 in 1946 to 1,397,159 in 1968. Since then the number has stagnated (1,441,568 in 1999); the average age remains low and the birth rate is well above the death rate, the net migration is strongly negative because of the decline in coal production and the related industries. Some places that lived exclusively from mining have lost around half of their inhabitants in the past 50 years.


The most populous municipalities in the Pas-de-Calais department are:

city Population
Calais 73,911 Calais
Boulogne-sur-Mer 40,874 Boulogne-sur-Mer
Arras 41,019 Arras
Liévin 30,785 Lens
Lens 31,415 Lens
Henin-Beaumont 26,022 Lens
Bethune 24,895 Bethune
Bruay-la-Buissière 21,831 Bethune
Avion 17,622 Lens
Carvin 17,124 Lens

Administrative division

Communes and arrondissements in the Pas-de-Calais department

The Pas-de-Calais department is divided into 7 arrondissements , 39 cantons and 890 communes :

Arrondissement Cantons Communities Residents
January 1, 2017
Density of
population / km²
Arras 8th 357 000000000249006.0000000000249.006 2,245.35 000000000000111.0000000000111 621
Bethune 8th 104 000000000293135.0000000000293,135 707.51 000000000000414.0000000000414 622
Boulogne-sur-Mer 4th 74 000000000158527.0000000000158,527 633.68 000000000000250.0000000000250 623
Calais 4th 52 000000000157786.0000000000157.786 593.39 000000000000266.0000000000266 626
Lens 9 50 000000000367769.0000000000367,769 352.05 000000000001045.00000000001,045 627
Montreuil 5 164 000000000111804.0000000000111,804 1,326.98 000000000000084.000000000084 624
Saint-Omer 5 89 000000000129991.0000000000129.991 812.95 000000000000160.0000000000160 625
Pas-de-Calais department 39 890 000000001468018.00000000001,468,018 6,671.91 000000000000220.0000000000220 62

See also:


In the absence of large cities, Pas-de-Calais did not have a university for a long time . This only changed in 1992 when the Université d'Artois and the Université du Littoral were realigned . The two universities are oriented across the boundaries of the department: one in Arras , Béthune , Douai , Lens and Liévin , the other in Boulogne-sur-Mer , Calais , Dunkerque and Saint-Omer .


The first round of the French presidential election took place on April 23, 2017 . The turnout in the Pas-de-Calais department was 78.5%. A total of 856,289 eligible voters cast their votes . Of the 833,267 valid votes received:

be right candidate
286.152 Marine Le Pen
159,342 Jean-Luc Mélenchon
153,782 Emmanuel Macron
119.087 François Fillon
43,084 Benoît Hamon
41,427 Nicolas Dupont-Aignan
9002 Philippe Poutou
8667 Nathalie Arthaud
5832 Jean Lassalle
5484 François Asselineau
1408 Jacques Cheminade


Observation station: Boulogne, port, 73 meters above sea level

maritime climate data J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
mean maximum temperature 6th 6th 9 11 15th 17th 19th 19th 18th 15th 10 7th
mean low temperature 2 2 3 5 9 11 13 14th 12 10 6th 3
Number of very sunny days 1.5 2 2.5 2.5 2 2 2.5 3 2 3 1.5 1.5
Number of days with an overcast sky 19th 17th 15th 13 13 11 12 11 12 15th 18th 19th
Number of rainy days 11 9 9 8th 8th 7th 7th 9 10 10 13 12
Rainfall in mm 55 46 40 38 42 47 45 54 66 66 83 64
Water temperature near the coast 8th 6th 7th 8th 10 13 15th 17th 17th 15th 12 9

Days per year with

  • Rainfalls over 1 mm: 115
  • Frost: 32
    • first frost: November 22nd
    • last frost: March 23rd
  • Snow: 13
  • Thunderstorm: 10
  • Hail: 4

Status: 1991

Web links

Commons : Department Pas-de-Calais  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Results of the 1st ballot. Ministry of Interior of France, 23 April 2017, accessed 24 April 2017 (French).
  2. Climate data from: Jean-Noël Darde, Plages et côtes de France, Éditions Balland, Paris 1991

Coordinates: 50 ° 23 '  N , 2 ° 21'  E