Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region: Geography and Demography

With around 7.7 million inhabitants, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is one of the most populous European regions. Structured by mountainous massifs that surround plain areas, it covers 69,711 km².


In recent decades, under the effect of peri-urbanization, high-density areas have expanded considerably. In the center of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, the Lyon agglomeration extends its influence over a very wide area, along the main lines of communication.


A continuum of agglomerations and densely populated municipalities extends over all the valleys of the Rhone and Saone and east along the A43 to Chambéry. In the same way, the urban space is continuous along the valley of Gier until Saint-Étienne.


In 2012, 3 million people live less than an hour by car from the center of Lyon, making it the largest population of France in the province, on par with that of Lille.


High Urban Density with a Geography Dominated by Rivers and Mountains