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Sainte-Enimie-Gorges du Tarn-Frankreich.jpg
01 Gorges du Tarn Roc des Hourtous.jpgChateau Florac Lozere.jpg
Mont Lozère panorama.jpg
|250px|none|alt=|From top down, left to right: Sainte-Enimie, the Gorges du Tarn in La Malène, Castle of Florac, Mont Lozère]]From top down, left to right: Sainte-Enimie, the Gorges du Tarn in La Malène, Castle of Florac, Mont Lozère
Flag of Lozère
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Lozère in France
Country France
Region Occitanie
Departement 4 March 1790
Prefecture Mende
Subprefecture Florac-Trois-Rivières
 • President of the Departmental Council Sophie Pantel (PS)
 • Total 5,166.9 km2 (1,995.0 sq mi)
Population (2016)
 • Total 76,422
 • Rank 101st
 • Density 15/km2 (38/sq mi)
Demonym Lozériens
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-48
Department number 48
Arrondissements 2
Cantons 13
Communes 152

Lozère (French pronunciation: [lɔzɛʁ]  ( listen); Occitan: Losera [luˈzeɾɔ]) is a department in the region of Occitanie in Southern France, located near the Massif Central. It is named after Mont Lozère. With a 2016 population of 76,422, it is the least populous French department.


Lozère was created in 1790 during the French Revolution, when the whole of France was divided into departments, replacing the old provinces. Lozère was formed with part of the old province of Languedoc.

Les Sources and Hautes-Cèvennes were two other names proposed for this department but they were not accepted.[2]

Pliny's Natural History praised the cheese of Lozère:

The kinds of cheese that are most esteemed at Rome, where the various good things of all nations are to be judged of by comparison, are those that come from the provinces of Nemausus, and more especially the area[N 1] there of Lesura and Gabalis (Lozère and Gévaudan); but its excellence is only very short-lived, and it must be eaten while it is fresh.[3]

During the period 1764-67, the Beast of Gévaudan, a creature believed to be a wolf, terrorized the general area in the Margeride Mountains of the former province of Gévaudan (nearly identical with the modern Lozère department).


Lozère has an area of 5,166.9 km2 (1,995 sq mi).[1] It is the northernmost department of the current Occitanie region and is surrounded by 5 departments belonging to 2 regions: Cantal, Haute-Loire and Ardèche departments of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and Gard and Aveyron departments of the Occitanie region.

The geography of Lozère is complicated, covering four mountain ranges. In the north-west, the basalt plateau of Aubrac rises between 1,000 and 1,450 m (3,300 and 4,760 ft), with a cold humid climate influenced by the Atlantic. The north and north-east of the department contains the Margeride mountains, which are formed of granite, and have peaks between 1,000 and 1,550 m (3,300 and 5,090 ft). The climate here is also cold, but drier than in Aubrac, with less snow.

The Causses are a series of very dry limestone plateaus in the south-west, and the south-east contains the Cévennes, which include the highest point in the department, the granite Mont Lozère at 1,702 m (5,584 ft).

The department also contains numerous rivers, above and below ground, including the Tarn, whose source is on Mont Lozère, and which flows through the Gorges du Tarn in the Causses.

View over the cirque of Pougnadoire and Saint-Chély-du-Tarn village, in the Tarn Gorges
View over the cirque of Pougnadoire and Saint-Chély-du-Tarn village, in the Tarn Gorges


The département is managed by the General Council of Lozère in Mende. As of 2015, the President of the Council is Sophie Pantel. Lozère is part of the region of Occitanie.

Administrative divisions[]

There are 2 arrondissements, 13 cantons and 152 communes in Lozère.[4]

Arrondissement Capital Population[5]
481 Florac Florac 13,199   1,687   7.8 38
482 Mende Mende 63,402   3,479   18.2 114

The following is a list of the 13 cantons of the Lozère department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:[6]

  1. Aumont-Aubrac (4801)
  2. La Canourgue (4802)
  3. Chirac (4803)
  4. Le Collet-de-Dèze (4804)
  5. Florac (4805)
  6. Grandrieu (4806)
  7. Langogne (4807)
  8. Marvejols (4808)
  9. Mende-1 (4809)
  10. Mende-2 (4810)
  11. Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole (4811)
  12. Saint-Chély-d'Apcher (4812)
  13. Saint-Étienne-du-Valdonnez (4813)


The main activities are cattle farming and tourism. There is barely any agricultural farming in Lozère due to poor soil quality. The hardy Aubrac is the most commonly farmed cattle breed here.

The region has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in France, which may be attributed to the enforced long-standing tradition whereby young people emigrate to cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier when they reach working age.

Land use[]

Cereals field near Les Bondons, dominated by the hills called Puechs des Bondons.

Lozère is a rural department, with relatively little land taken up by roads and buildings. Overall the land use is divided as follows:

  • Forest 43.81%
  • Heath & other open land 31.19%
  • Arable land 12.74%
  • Fields 11.36%
  • Roads and buildings 0.54%
  • Rivers and ponds 0.36%


Current National Assembly Representative[]

Constituency Member[7] Party
style="background-color: Template:The Republicans (France)/meta/color" | Lozère's 1st constituency Pierre Morel-À-L'Huissier The Republicans


Population development since 1801:

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1801 126,503
1806 143,247 2.49%
1821 133,934 -0.45%
1831 140,347 0.47%
1841 140,788 0.03%
1851 144,705 0.27%
1861 137,367 -0.52%
1872 135,190 -0.15%
1881 143,565 0.67%
1891 135,517 -0.58%
1901 128,866 -0.5%
1911 122,738 -0.49%
1921 108,822 -1.2%
1931 101,849 -0.66%
1936 98,480 -0.67%
1946 90,523 -0.84%
1954 82,391 -1.18%
1962 81,868 -0.08%
1968 77,258 -0.97%
1975 74,825 -0.46%
1982 74,294 -0.1%
1990 72,825 -0.25%
1999 73,509 0.1%
2006 76,806 0.63%
2011 77,156 0.09%
2016 76,422 -0.19%

Lozère is the least populated French department. It has a population, in 2017, of 76,601, for a population density of 14.8 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Mende, with 63,402 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other arrondissement, Florac, has 13,199 inhabitants.[5]

The only important town is Mende with 12,134 people living there in 2017. Other cities are Marvejols (4,722) and Saint-Chély-d'Apcher (4,164).[5]

The inhabitants of Lozère are known, in French, as Lozériens (women: Lozériennes).[9]


Tourist activities include caving and a variety of sports, such as skiing and kayaking. Lozère contains a part of the Cévennes National Park. Lozère is considered one of the best areas in France for trout fishing. Rivers such as the Lot, Tarn and Truyère are particularly noted for their trout populations.

See also[]

  • Cantons of the Lozère department
  • Communes of the Lozère department
  • Arrondissements of the Lozère department


  1. ^ Pliny's term is pagus, a Latin equivalent of pays.


External links[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Lozère. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.