Cantons of France

The cantons of France are territorial subdivisions of the French Republic's arrondissements and departments.

Apart from their role as organizational units in certain aspects of the administration of public services and justice, the chief purpose of the cantons today is to serve as constituencies for the election of the members of the representative assembly (General Council) in each department. For this reason, such elections are known in France as "cantonal elections".

As of 2018, there are 4,055 cantons (including 172 overseas) in France.[1] Most of them group together some communes (the lowest administrative division of the French Republic), although larger communes may comprise several cantons, since the cantons are intended to be roughly equal in population – unlike the communes, which range from more than two million inhabitants (Paris) to just one person (Rochefourchat).

Role and administration

The role of the canton is, essentially, to provide a framework for departmental elections. Each canton elects a person to represent it at the conseil général du département – or general council for the department, which is the principal administrative division of the French Republic.

In urban areas, a single commune generally includes several cantons. Conversely, in rural areas, a canton may comprise several smaller communes. In the latter case, administrative services, the gendarmerie headquarters for example, are often situated in the principal town (chef-lieu) of the canton, although there are exceptions, such as cantons Gaillon-Campagne and Sarreguemines-Campagne, which have in common a "chief-town" which does not belong to either canton.

For statistical (INSEE) purposes, the twenty arrondissements of Paris – the administrative subdivisions of that city – are sometimes considered cantons, but they serve no greater electoral function.

Cantons also form legal districts, as seats of Tribunaux d'instance or "Courts of First Instance" (also, "TI"...). Historically, the cantons are called justices de paix or "district courts".

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Kanton (Frankreich)
aragonés: Cantón francés
Bân-lâm-gú: Hoat-kok ê tìn
беларуская: Кантоны Францыі
brezhoneg: Kanton gall
Cebuano: Kanton
euskara: Kantonamendu
français: Canton français
Bahasa Indonesia: Kanton di Perancis
Lëtzebuergesch: Franséisch Kantonen
Nederlands: Kanton (Frankrijk)
norsk nynorsk: Kantonar i Frankrike
Plattdüütsch: Kanton (Frankriek)
русиньскый: Кантон (Франция)
Simple English: Cantons of France
slovenščina: Kanton (Francija)
српски / srpski: Француски кантони
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kantoni Francuske
українська: Кантон (Франція)
Tiếng Việt: Tổng của Pháp
中文: 縣 (法國)