Diagonal of the void. Do you know the least populated department in France?


It is located itself in the diagonal of the void, in the same way as Cantal, Creuse or Aveyron. According to the latest INSEE statistics, Lozère has the fewest inhabitants among the 101 French departments.

At the last census in January 2020, Lozère had 76,633 inhabitants spread over a total area of ​​5,168 km². This therefore also represents a density of 14.8 inhabitants per square kilometer, very far from the 20,359.6 inhabitants/km² of the capital, Paris.

The only department with less than 100,000 inhabitants

INSEE also notes that this department of Occitanie is also the only French department to have less than 100,000 inhabitants. La Creuse, the second least populated department, has more than 115,000 inhabitants.


Location of the Lozère department © Wikipedia

A stabilized population

In this department, the largest municipality is none other than Mende and it has 12,336 inhabitants. For the city, however, INSEE notes a positive development over the last decade with an increase in the number of inhabitants since 2014, after a phase of decline: “this reversal in trend is clear, the annual variation in population going from – 1 .2% between 2009 and 2014 to + 1.1% between 2014 and 2020”.

The second municipality already falls under 5,000 inhabitants: Marvejols has only 4,713 souls, followed by Saint-Chély-d’Apcher with 4,220 inhabitants. Marvejols has not been able to reverse the trend and its demographics have fallen over the last decade. The smallest town is Sainte-Eulalie which had 35 inhabitants in January 2020.

Throughout the department of Lozère, the population stabilized over the period 2014 to 2020 according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies. The migratory surplus increases to +0.5% and balances the natural deficit which is -0.5% per year over the period. Over the period 2009-2014, the migratory surplus was only +0.1%, which did not make it possible to balance the natural deficit of -0.3% per year.

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