France or L'hexagone and its regions

French Regions
L'hexagone is France's nickname in France itself, referring to its three sea coasts (Mediterranean, Atlantic, English Channel), the Pyrenees, the east and northeast. Politically it is highly centralised, and yet its population recoils from its geographic centre, the Massive Central being the most depopulated area of the country (regions of the Auvergne and Limousin).

France has long been organised on a departmental basis, precisely to discourage the formation non-Parisian centres of power, and its twenty two regions (which include Corsica) are of recent origin, instituted because many departments are too small to administer today's big issues.

The Thirty Glorious Years (1949-79) of economic growth have been followed in France by stagnation which is the converse of the UK.

This, combined with the huge rural housing stock left behind by rural depopulation leaves France today with reputedly 500,000 British-owned houses.

Vive la France.