Main Births etc
—  Department  —
Prefecture building of the Essonne department, in Évry


Coat of arms
Location of Essonne in France
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Prefecture Évry-Courcouronnes
Subprefectures Étampes
 • President of the General Council François Durovray (LR)
 • Total 1,804 km2 (697 sq mi)
Population (2017)
 • Total 1,296,130
 • Rank 15th
 • Density 720/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 91
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 194
^1  French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Essonne (pronounced: [ɛsɔn]) is a French department in the region of Île-de-France. It is named after the Essonne River.

It was formed on 1 January 1968 when Seine-et-Oise was split into smaller departments.


The Essonne department was created on 1 January 1968, from the southern portion of the former department of Seine-et-Oise.

In June 1963 Carrefour S.A. opened the first hypermarket in the Paris region at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (although the word "hypermarché" was first used only in 1966). Based on the ideas put forward by the American logistics pioneer Bernardo Trujillo,[1] the centre offered on a single 2,500 m2 (26,909.78 sq ft) site a hitherto unknown combination of wide choice and low prices, supported by 400 car parking spaces.

In 1969, the communes of Châteaufort and Toussus-le-Noble were separated from Essonne and added to the department of Yvelines.


Essonne belongs to the region of Île-de-France.

It has borders with the departments of:

All of northern Essonne department belongs to the Parisian agglomeration and is very urbanized. The south remains rural.

In descending order, the cities over 25,000 population are: Évry-Courcouronnes, Corbeil-Essonnes, Massy, Savigny-sur-Orge, Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, Palaiseau, Athis-Mons, Vigneux-sur-Seine, Viry-Châtillon, Ris-Orangis, Yerres, Draveil, Grigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge, Brunoy and Les Ulis. Milly-la-Forêt is an example of its more rural communes.

Main sights[]

  • L'École Polytechnique. Founded in 1794, L'Ecole Polytechnique is one of the most prestigious engineering universities in France. This university was ranked 10th in the world by the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2005. Its campus is in the town of Palaiseau.
  • Université de Paris-Sud. One of the best public schools in France, it is ranked 52nd by Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is best known for its mathematics department. Located in Orsay, Essonne, about 26,000 students are enrolled.
  • The Headquarters of the Arianespace Company, a major commercial aerospace launcher, servicing companies who wish to launch satellites into space.
  • Château de Montlhéry. Originally having been an ancient fort during Roman times, the first feudal lords began to inhabit the castle around 1000 AD. One major battle was fought in the castle during its lifetime. In 1465, Charles the Rash and French King Louis XI fought in the plains in front of the castle. In 1842, the reconstruction of the castle was started, and currently is being maintained by the local town of Montlhery
  • Château de Courances
  • The Forest of Sénart. Covering 3,500 hectares in area, this forest is very important to the local population. The local government has kept roads and agricultural companies from cutting down parts of this forest. The forest receives between two and three million visitors annually, and the government spends 1.2 million euros a year maintaining it.
  • Telecom Sudparis. Situated in Évry, this is a grande école for engineers


The department's most high-profile political representative has been Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France from 31 March 2014 to 6 December 2016. He visited its main town Évry to deliver remarks following the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 2015.

Current National Assembly Representatives[]

Constituency Member[2] Party
style="background-color: Template:La République En Marche!/meta/color" | Essonne's 1st constituency Francis Chouat La République En Marche!
style="background-color: Template:The Republicans (France)/meta/color" | Essonne's 2nd constituency Franck Marlin The Republicans
style="background-color: Template:La République En Marche!/meta/color" | Essonne's 3rd constituency Laëtitia Romeiro Dias La République En Marche!
style="background-color: Template:La République En Marche!/meta/color" | Essonne's 4th constituency Marie-Pierre Rixain La République En Marche!
style="background-color: Template:Ecology Democracy Solidarity/meta/color" | Essonne's 5th constituency Cédric Villani Ecology Democracy Solidarity
style="background-color: Template:La République En Marche!/meta/color" | Essonne's 6th constituency Amélie de Montchalin La République En Marche!
style="background-color: Template:The Republicans (France)/meta/color" | Essonne's 7th constituency Robin Reda The Republicans
style="background-color: Template:Debout la France/meta/color" | Essonne's 8th constituency Nicolas Dupont-Aignan Debout la France
style="background-color: Template:La République En Marche!/meta/color" | Essonne's 9th constituency Marie Guévenoux La République En Marche!
style="background-color: Template:La République En Marche!/meta/color" | Essonne's 10th constituency Pierre-Alain Raphan La République En Marche!


Population development since 1876:

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1876 135,911
1881 140,027 0.6%
1891 151,726 0.8%
1901 164,617 0.82%
1911 177,385 0.75%
1921 187,188 0.54%
1931 271,094 3.7%
1936 286,896 1.13%
1946 293,932 0.24%
1954 350,987 2.22%
1962 478,691 3.88%
1968 673,325 5.69%
1975 923,063 4.51%
1982 988,000 0.97%
1990 1,084,824 1.17%
1999 1,134,238 0.49%
2006 1,198,273 0.78%
2010 1,215,340 0.35%
2016 1,287,330 0.96%

Place of birth of residents[]

Template:France immigration


See also[]

  • Cantons of the Essonne department
  • Communes of the Essonne department
  • Arrondissements of the Essonne department


External links[]