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Cotentin (Cherbourg)

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A peninsula benefiting equally from its coastal fringe as from its inland territories.
The region's 2nd industrial hub reuniting energy, shipbuilding and agribusiness.
A young population equally present within the Cherbourg urban area and the rest of the peninsula


The Pays du Cotentin reunites 205 communes spread across 13 communities of communes, the urban community of Cherbourg and 3 isolated communes (Saint-Jacques-de-Nehou, Sottevast and Taillepied). The area covers 1,824m2 and is home to 210,020 inhabitants, representing a population density of 115 inhabitants per km2.

Although the sea predominates, the peninsula is home to many more a farmer than a seafarer. The Cotentin's natural frontiers are predominantly maritime; however the area is also renowned for its rich and diverse countryside (bocage and hillsides, inland marshlands, moorlands, dunes...), and for its many agricultural zones. It is a well-balanced territory with a major urban area, the Urban Community of Cherbourg, together with a rural zone, both reuniting an equal number of inhabitants. The south of the Pays de Cotentin (comprising 61 communes) is part of the Parc Naturel Régional des Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin (Regional Natural Park).
The area is highly industrialised and dependent upon four major firms - Areva (8,000 direct and indirect jobs, 3,244 of which are salaried), DCN (Directorate for Naval Construction), EDF (French Electricity Board) (650 jobs and 2,000 service providers), CMN (Normandy Mechanical Construction) – together with the Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin (639 salaried workers,dairy products). This economic organisation has several consequences on employment:

- A high proportion of skilled workers,
- a low level of employment feminisation (reinforced by the closure of factories traditionally employing female workers)
- an increased weight of intermediate professions,
- a high density of engineers.

The vast influx of young workers during the construction of the Cogema nuclear reprocessing plant and the EDF power station, together with the respective cohort of subcontracting companies, have affected the area's age pyramid. Today, a marked difference can be observed between the very young northern districts and the east and south where the population is far older. The Cotentin has a higher under-20s population level than the national average.
Agriculture specialises in dairy production, breeding and vegetable production. Hence the development of efficient facilities for the transformation and enhancement of primary products. The area has developed « quality » methods in both dairy and vegetable production.

Officially certified as a « Rural Centre of Excellence », SILEBAN (Normandy Investment and Development Company for vegetable and horticultural production) has developed an action programme from 2007 to 2013, based on the implementation of alternative preventive measures to phytosanitary products to ensure the preservation of crops from ravagers (rodents, insects) and disease.

  • Carte du Pays du Cotentin
  • DCN
  • Cap de Carteret
  • CMN catamaran neuf