Seine department

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The Seine department before the expansion of Paris in the 1860s

The Seine department was a French department that included Paris and a ring of neighboring municipalities . Its prefecture was in Paris, the official number of the department was 75 . It was dissolved in 1968.


The Seine department was founded on March 4, 1790 as the Département de Paris . In 1795, the name was changed to Département de la Seine and thus named after the Seine that flows through the department. From 1929 until its dissolution in 1968, the department consisted of the city of Paris and 80 independent municipalities in the area. It covered 480 square kilometers, 22 percent of which belonged to the city of Paris. It was divided into three arrondissements : Paris, Sceaux and Saint-Denis .

Seine and its 81 municipalities from 1929 to 1968 with the following breakdown: City of Paris to the Hauts-de-Seine to the Seine-Saint-Denis in the department of Val-de-Marne


At the first census in France (1801), the Seine département had 631,585 inhabitants, 87 percent of them in Paris, making it the département with the second highest population (after the Nord département ) in France, more populous than the densely populated new départements in today's Belgium and today's Netherlands . With the growth of Paris and its suburbs, the department grew to 5,700,754 inhabitants by 1968, of which only 45 percent lived in Paris itself. The Seine department was now by far the most populous in France. According to the government, it was too populous to be governable. Therefore it was decided to divide it into four smaller departments on January 1st, 1968.


Paris and the departments of western Île-de-France affected by the territorial reform of 1968 . With the administrative reform, the two departments of Seine and Seine-et-Oise were dissolved and 7 new departments were created in their place.

On January 1, 1968, the Seine department was divided into four departments: Paris (75), Hauts-de-Seine (92), Seine-Saint-Denis (93) and Val-de-Marne (94).

The procedure in detail was as follows:

  1. The city of Paris was made into a separate department and retained the alphabetically incorrect serial number 75
  2. 29 municipalities of the previous Seine department and 18 municipalities of the Seine-et-Oise department (which was also dissolved in 1968) formed the new Val-de-Marne department. The ordinal number 94 assigned to the new department was previously used by the Territoires du Sud , the part of the Sahara that was formerly part of the French part of Algeria .
  3. 27 municipalities in the Seine department and 9 municipalities in the Seine-et-Oise department were combined to form the new Hauts-de-Seine department ; the order number 92 assigned to Hauts-de-Seine used to belong to the Oran department in Algeria.
  4. 24 communes of the Seine department and 16 communes of Seine-et-Oise formed the new Seine-Saint-Denis department with the number 93, which formerly belonged to the Constantine department in Algeria.

From this it follows that the departments of Hauts-de-Seine, Val-de-Marne and Seine-Saint-Denis (which are known in France as petite couronne ) together with the city of Paris are larger than the former department of Seine: 762 compared to 480 square kilometers .

In the 1999 census, the area of ​​the former Seine department had 5,203,818 inhabitants, around 500,000 fewer than in 1968.


In the 1960s, the Seine department was generally thought to be too large to be properly managed, so the change in structures was welcomed. In the 40 years that followed, however, the consequences of unchecked growth, the unsuccessful urban development policy and the lack of infrastructure in the suburbs became apparent - only a few, for example, have a connection to the Metro network , so it is very difficult to get to the city center without a car. In some suburbs, especially in the north and east, ghettos with a high proportion of migrants, high unemployment and high crime were formed, while Paris itself became more and more the home of the affluent ( gentrification ) and the middle class was increasingly marginalized. The construction of the Boulevard périphérique around Paris also clearly divided the area into two areas, in which the opinion is increasingly being expressed in the outer ring that the wealthy population of Paris only cares for their own interests and leaves the poorer population outside of their fate . In 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced an ambitious project called Grand Paris , which aims to remove the administrative separation between the core city and the suburbs and create a uniform administration for the entire agglomeration .

See also