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Nord-Pas-De-Calais Province of France

Facts on Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region

Area: 12 414 km2
Population: About 4,000,000
Climate: Oceanic rainy
Capital City: Lille

Nord-Pas de Calais is one of the 26 regions of France. This region combines the departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais, which is in the far north of the country, bordering with Belgium.


- Travel Guide
- Facts on Region
- History of Region

Facts on Nord-Pas-De-Calais Province of France

It is an extremely densely populated region with some 4 million inhabitants - 7% of France's total population, making it the fourth most populous region in the country, with 83% of whom live in urban communities.

Its administrative centre and capital city is Lille. Other major towns include Valenciennes, Lens, Douai, Béthune, Dunkirk, Maubeuge, Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Arras.

Calais is the biggest passenger port in continental Europe with it being a major point of travel to and from Britain, which is just 36 kilometres over the Channel, or even under the Channel, via the tunnel for travel to France and back.

Nord-Pas-de-Calais has 140 kilometres of coastline and 350 kilometres of frontier with Belgium.

Although the population of the region is considerably younger than the French average, the very high density of higher education facilities, with seven universities and 24 engineering schools can explain this.  And the total student population reaches around 100,000. 

Plus all of the region's larger towns such as Lille, Villeneuve-d'Asq, Valenciennes, Arras and Dunkerque- have a university centre.

Although Nord-Pas-de-Calais is France's third biggest industrial region, housing major foodstuffs, biotech, automotive, textile (in Roubaix-Tourcoing) and metallurgy companies, it is also the hub of thriving retail and mail order businesses such as La Redoute and Auchan.

The regional capital is Lille and this tends to play a vital role in the European Union, and its ultra-modern business district, Euralille, was designed with precisely this objective.

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