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Map showing the boundaries of the Parisian metropolitan area

The aire urbaine (or "metropolitan area") of Paris is a statistical area defined by INSEE which is made up of the Paris unité urbaine (or "urban area"), an area of contiguously built-up urbanization with the City of Paris at its centre, and a couronne périurbaine (or "commuter belt") that surrounds the unité urbaine. The INSEE gives "urban area" as a translation for the aire urbaine,[1] but it can be noted that the aire urbaine is similar in its constitution to many of the world's metropolitan areas. At present the Paris aire urbaine, with its 14,518.3 km², extends slightly beyond Paris' administrative Île-de-France administrative region, or "Paris Region".

The Paris aire urbaine' expands at each population census due to the rapid population growth in the Paris area: new communes (municipalities) surrounding Paris become included in the aire urbaine when they meet the 40% commuter threshold required to be considered part of the aire urbaine. At the 1968 census, the earliest date for which population figures were retrospectively computed for French aire urbaines, the Paris aire urbaine had 9 872 000 inhabitants in an area that only encompassed central Île-de-France. At the 1999 census the Paris aire urbaine was by then slightly larger than Île-de-France and had 11,174,743 inhabitants. Its population is now estimated to be nearly 12 million in its 1999 limits, and this number will change again upon the INSEE publication of the 2006 population census.


  1. ^ INSEE. "Nomenclatures, Définitions, Méthodes - Aire urbaine". Retrieved 2007-09-04.  



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