Despite the change in name, Île-de-France is still popularly
referred to as the Région Parisienne, otherwise known as the "Paris Region" by
the French people who live in this area.
Île-de-France is the most populated region of France, having more inhabitants than the
European countries of Belgium, Greece, or Sweden, and about as many inhabitants as the
U.S. state of Ohio.
Ile de France is the third most populous subnational entity in the European Union after
the North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria.
Also, the Île-de-France région is made up of eight
départements centred around its innermost département and the capital city Paris.
Around the Paris département, urbanization fills a first ring of three départements
commonly known as the petite couronne ("small ring"), and extends into a second
outer ring of four départements known as the grande couronne ("large ring").
Most of the Île-de-France is covered by the Paris
metropolitan area (aire urbaine de Paris). This is a statistical area which
encompasses the Paris urban area and its couronne périurbaine commuter belt. At the
last census in 1999, 88% of the Île-de-France's population lived in the Paris urban area
and 99% of the same regional population lived in the Paris metropolitan area (9,644,507
people and 10,842,037 people respectively).