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Normandy (General introduction)

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An advantageous geographical location
A region open to the world
3 departments: Calvados, Orne, Manche
An attractive regional capital
Preserved quality of life in a region where innovation and high tech are at the forefront of major industry sectors

Thanks to Normandy's advantageous geographical location, the region can legitimately claim to be a champion in terms of European and international exposure. Normandy is in a central location between the two most important metropolitan regions: Paris and London.
80% of world trading involves maritime transport; the sea is therefore a major economic strength.
Normandy is in an ideal geographical location thanks to its proximity to the English Channel, the world's busiest waterway and to a dense network of commercial ports (Cherbourg, Honfleur).

Normandy offers an original and intelligent model of territorial organisation, proffering the region with a genuine sense of balance thanks to a fine network of medium-sized towns. Over and above its three major towns (Caen, Cherbourg, Alençon), the region embraces a balanced distribution of a multitude of smaller urban hubs which play an essential role in territorial stability and activity. Such balanced territorial organisation is a plus for inhabitants in terms of quality of life, thanks to the neighbourhood services and employment markets it provides. 35% of the region's inhabitants reside within an essentially rural area.

A diversity of landscapes: juxtaposition of maritime and continental settings. Normandy has a diverse coastline: cliff tops, flat and sandy shores, coves and headlands, havens and vast foreshores. Inland, Normandy's rural landscape is also varied: south Cotentin and Orne bocage, Bessin marshlands, several forests (Andaines, Écouves)...

Normandy is a region where innovation and high technology are in prime position among leading industries such as electronics or plastics, together with specialised activities within major sectors such as the automobile or agrifood industries. Normandy is the French region with the highest proportion of agricultural employment compared to total regional employment. Agriculture represents 6.9% of total regional employment. Normandy is the French region with the greatest proportion of its regional territory devoted to agriculture. Industry provides 17.8% of the region's employment. Services employ 54.2% of the region's working population.


- 1,470,880 inhabitants (according to a 2009 estimation)
- Every year 3,000,000 visitors to the Mont-Saint-Michel (over 1 million paid admissions)
- Small-scale coastal fishing production totals around 60,000 tonnes, placing Normandy in leading position for its shellfish load.
- More 45,000 new inhabitants moved to Normandy between 1999 and 2008
- 1432: inauguration of Caen University, one of France's oldest
- 470km of coastline
- 23% of the region's total surface area is occupied by one of the three Regional National Parks (Parc des Marais du
Cotentin et du Bessin, Parc Normandie-Maine, Parc du Perche)
- 9.7%: unemployment level at the 2nd quarter of 2012
- 3 departments (Calvados, Manche and Orne)
- Total GDP for 2010: 34,400 (in millions of Euros: GDP per inhabitant: 23,309 (in Euros)

  • Pont de Normandie
  • Vue de la baie du Mont Saint Michel
  • Phoenix Université de Caen