Enjoying a leading economic position in Europe with more than 500,000 firms, 29 Fortune Global 500 company headquarters, and 150,000 researchers, Paris Region, also called in France "Region Île-de-France" ranks among the most competitive regions for research and development, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
This exceptional R&D potential goes hand in hand with a remarkable higher education system, praised for its quality and opening. Seventeen universities among the most prestigious in the world, like the Sorbonne,along with more than 300 engineering, health, management, architecture, and art schools in Ile de France offer a internationally renowned education, providing each and everyone with the best adapted training curriculum. With one student out of four being trained in Paris Region, university life also benefits from a rich and effusive offer in terms of culture and entertainment.
Paris Region also stands on the highest step of the podium of the most visited destinations worldwide. Each year, 42 million tourists stay in the region to enjoy its exceptional concentration of cultural and architectural treasures, with four of them being listed as UNESCO World Heritage: the Banks of the Seine, the castle of Fontainebleau, the castle of Versailles, and the medieval city of Provins…
Paris Region relies on high-quality infrastructures, whether it be care facilities, educational institutions, or cultural equipments. Already among the vastest in the world, the public transport network shall be completed by 2030 with 205km of new subway lines – that is the size of the current network of the RATP – and 72 new stations.
Everything is done to welcome you, to allow you to fulfill your hopes, achieve your goals, and live well !
Valérie Pécresse. Graduated from both HEC and ENA, Valérie Pécresse was first a Judge (Maître des Requêtes) at the Conseil d’Etat, the highest administrative jurisdiction. She was appointed at the French Presidency in 1998 by Jacques Chirac as advisor for new technologies and the Internet. She was elected member of the National Assembly in June 2002, re-elected in 2007 and 2012. She was appointed Minister for Higher Education and Research by President Nicolas Sarkozy in May 2007. In 2011, she became Minister of Budget and Government spokesperson. From June 2012 to December 2015, she acted as Member of Parliament, member of the Finance Commission, leader of the opposition group at the Regional assembly of the Paris region. In November 2015, Valérie Pécresse resigned from the Conseil d’Etat to focus on the Paris Region. In December 13th 2015, she won the regional elections and was officially elected at the region’s presidency in December 18th. In January 19th, 2016, she resigned from her seat at the National Assembly, in accordance with her campaign promise to concentrate on her term of President exclusively.
Surface area : 12,012 km2
12 million inhabitants
999 inhabitants per km2
R&D jobs : 155,000
R&D expenditure : €18.7b
6.1 million jobs
(salaried and non-salaried)
52.6 million m2
Exhibition surface: 711,000 m2
Exports : €77b
Imports : €129b
GDP per capita : €53,617
95.4 million passengers
3 international airports
19 million passengers
7 high-speed train station
The vast diversity in the Paris Region is due first and foremost to its more than 1,000 years of history. From the Château de Versailles (78) to the cities of Fontainebleau (77), Saint-Germain-en-Laye (78) and Etampes (91), not to mention the Medieval center of Provins (77) and the Basilica of Saint-Denis (93), there is no forgetting the royal past of Île-de-France.
Literally studded with castles (Vincennes, Chamarande, Courson, Villarceaux, La Roche-Guyon, etc.) and museums (Prehistory Museum in Nemours, Inland Waterway Shipping Museum in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Ceramic Museum in Sèvres, etc.), the region makes the most of its exceptional historical legacy.
Throughout the years, many artists and writers have been captivated by Paris, only to settle in Île-de-France! A muse for numerous painters and a haven of peace for writers, the Paris Region is filled with estates and iconic settings where these illustrious men and women lived or worked. Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise (95), Millet in Barbizon (77), Rosa Bonheur in By (77), Monet, Renoir and Degas on the banks of the Seine in Chatou and Bougival (78). These spots will forever be associated with Impressionist painters.
Île-de-France also provided a source of inspiration for Emile Zola in Médan (78), Elsa Triolet and Louis Aragon in Saint-Arnoult (78), Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Montmorency (95) and of course Jean Cocteau in Milly-la-Forêt (91). Today, their creations remain vivid in our minds as so many tributes to their territory of choice.
Île-de-France is indeed fertile ground for art, such as Jean Tinguely's Cyclop, deep in the forest in Milly (91) and Dubuffet's Chaufferie avec cheminée, located in a center of a crossroads in Vitry-sur-Seine (94). Art also flourishes in the street itself, with the many sculptures in the La Défense business district (92): César's Le Pouce, Calder's Araignée rouge, etc.
Another side to the beauty of the Paris Region's cultural heritage: architecture, abundant and eclectic! From Villa Savoye in Poissy (78) designed by Le Corbusier, to the omnipresent influence of André Lurçat in Saint-Denis (93), not to mention Mario Botta's cathedral in Evry (91), Île-de-France stands out as a choice setting for contemporary architecture.
This diversity also includes the region's industrial legacy, particularly the Menier chocolate factory in Noisiel (77), the flour mills of Pantin (93) and the Manufacture des Œillets in Ivry-sur-Seine (94).
Finally, the natural landscapes of Île-de-France attract tourists from the four corners of the earth. In addition to château parks like the Domaine de Courson (91), where botanical heritage shines, and Le Nôtre's French gardens in Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, the region features several remarkable forests (Fontainebleau, Marly, etc.) superb gardens (the Albert Kahn Gardens in Boulogne, among others) and vestiges of agricultural traditions (watercress in Méréville, "peach walls" in Montreuil, etc.). Regional nature parks are ideal locations to discover this scenic beauty, along with local specialties and deep-rooted savoir-faire. And don't forget recreation, with 12 outdoor leisure centers at your disposal throughout the region.
These are just a few of the many good reasons to visit Île-de-France, and especially to discover what it has to offer off the beaten path: by 2CV, boat, bicycle or hot air balloon. You can even take advantage of a local guide thanks to the Greeters program, whereby residents accompany visitors on a tour of their neighborhood or town. The program has been extended from Paris to the départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne.
Yes, Île-de-France is Fontainebleau and its palace, where François I established his royal residence and where Napoleon I abdicated. It is the Louvre and its intrigues. It is Versailles, whose majestic splendor embodied the apex of royal authority by divine right. It is the Basilica of Saint-Denis, the royal necropolis of France, and the Port Royal Abby, center of religious rebellion. It is the finest hours of the French Revolution, the first steps of the 1st Republic, and the center of virtually all political power under the Fifth Republic: Elysée Palace, the National Assembly, the Senate, etc.
This glorious history is also rife with confrontations, tragedies and often painful memories: the Charonne metro massacre and the bloody repression of protesters demonstrating against the Secret Army Organization (Organisation de l'Armée Secrète) and the Algerian War; the execution of more than one thousand hostages and Resistance fighters during World War II at Mont Valérien; the Wall of the Confederates (Mur des Fédérés), where 147 members of the Paris Commune were shot; Drancy, where Parisian Jews boarded the trains that were to take them to concentration camps.
In spite of a highly national focus, local affairs have come into their own in the Paris Region, albeit later than in other parts of France. For example, Parisians waited until 1977 before being granted the right to elect their mayor, a long-standing practice in other French cities. Likewise, the Paris Region has managed its public transportation system, via STIF (Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France), only since 2006. Decentralization has come a long way, but the question of the national government's role in the Paris Region remains a topic of hot debate, such as for the launch and management of the Grand Paris project.