|Pays de la Loire|
|o President||Christelle Morançais (LR)|
|o Total||32,082 km2 (12,387 sq mi)|
|o Density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||FR-R|
|GDP (2012)||Ranked 5th|
|Total||EUR101.2 billion (US$130.2 bn)|
|Per capita||EUR27,775 (US$35,725)|
Pays de la Loire (French pronunciation: [pe.i d? la lwa?]; meaning Loire Country) is one of the 18 regions of France. It is one of the regions created in the 1950s to serve as a zone of influence for its capital, Nantes, one of a handful of so-called "balancing metropolises" (métropoles d'équilibre)¹.
Pays de la Loire comprises 5 departments: Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe, Vendée.
Pays de la Loire is made up of the following historical provinces:
Loire Valley is a UNESCO listed World heritage Site since 2000, it is located both in the administrative regions of Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire. Although majority of the châteaux of the Loire Valley such as Montsoreau, Angers, Saumur or Brézé in Pays de la Loire are located in the Maine-et-Loire departement,Pays de la Loire has numerous prominent monuments, such as the castles of Laval, and the Nantes Château des Ducs de Bretagne, the Royal Fontevraud Abbey (the widest monastic ensemble in Europe), and the old city of Le Mans. In addition, it also has many natural parks such as the Brière and the Marsh of Poitou.
Evolution of the population listed by departments:
|Year||Population of the departments|
|Loire-Atlantique department||Maine-et-Loire department||Mayenne department||Sarthe department||Vendée department||Total Pays de la Loire|
An increase in the population was seen particularly as people migrated from all over France to the Loire region due to the rise of Nantes to prominence.
¹ In the 1960s under the Charles de Gaulle government, eight large regional cities of France (Lille, Nancy, Strasbourg, Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse) were made "balancing metropolises", receiving special financial and technical help from the French government in order to counterbalance the excessive weight of Paris inside France.