Essonne (pronounced [ɛsɔn]) is a French department in the region of Île-de-France. It is named after the Essonne River.
It was formed on 1 January 1968 when Seine-et-Oise was split into smaller departments.
The Essonne department was created on 1 January 1968, from the southern portion of the former department of Seine-et-Oise.
In June 1963 Carrefour S.A. opened the first hypermarket in the Paris region at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (although the word "hypermarché" was first used only in 1966). Based on the ideas put forward by the American logistics pioneer Bernardo Trujillo, the centre offered on a single 2,500 m2 (26,909.78 sq ft) site a hitherto unknown combination of wide choice and low prices, supported by 400 car parking spaces.
In 1969, the communes of Châteaufort and Toussus-le-Noble were separated from Essonne and added to the department of Yvelines.
Essonne belongs to the region of Île-de-France.
It has borders with the departments of:
All of northern Essonne department belongs to the Parisian agglomeration and is very urbanized. The south remains rural.
In descending order, the cities over 25,000 population are: Évry, Corbeil-Essonnes, Massy, Savigny-sur-Orge, Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, Viry-Châtillon, Athis-Mons, Palaiseau, Draveil, Yerres, Les Ulis, and Vigneux-sur-Seine. Milly-la-Forêt is an example of its more rural communes.
- L'École Polytechnique. Founded in 1794, L'Ecole Polytechnique is one of the most prestigious engineering universities in France. This university was ranked 10th in the world by the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2005. Its campus is in the town of Palaiseau.
- Université de Paris-Sud. One of the best public schools in France, it is ranked 52nd by Academic Ranking of World Universities. It is best known for its physics department. Located in Orsay, Essonne, about 26,000 students are enrolled.
- The Headquarters of the Arianespace Company, a major commercial aerospace launcher, servicing companies who wish to launch satellites into space.
- Château de Montlhéry. Originally having been an ancient fort during Roman times, the first feudal lords began to inhabit the castle around 1000 AD. One major battle was fought in the castle during its lifetime. In 1465, Charles the Rash and French King Louis XI fought in the plains in front of the castle. In 1842, the reconstruction of the castle was started, and currently is being maintained by the local town of Montlhery
- Château de Courances
- The Forest of Sénart. Covering 3,500 hectares in area, this forest is very important to the local population. The local government has kept roads and agricultural companies from cutting down parts of this forest. The forest receives between two and three million visitors annually, and the government spends 1.2 million euros a year maintaining it.
- Telecom Sudparis. Situated in Évry, this is a grande école for engineers
The department's most high-profile political representative has been Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France from 31 March 2014 to 6 December 2016. He visited its main town Évry to deliver remarks following the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 2015.
Current National Assembly Representatives
Population development since 1876:
Place of birth of residents
Place of birth of residents of Essonne in 1999
|Born in Metropolitan France
||Born outside Metropolitan France
|Born in foreign countries with French citizenship at birth1
|1This group is made up largely of former French settlers, such as pieds-noirs in Northwest Africa, followed by former colonial citizens who had French citizenship at birth (such as was often the case for the native elite in French colonies), and to a lesser extent foreign-born children of French expatriates. Note that a foreign country is understood as a country not part of France in 1999, so a person born for example in 1950 in Algeria, when Algeria was an integral part of France, is nonetheless listed as a person born in a foreign country in French statistics.|
2An immigrant is a person born in a foreign country not having French citizenship at birth. Note that an immigrant may have acquired French citizenship since moving to France, but is still considered an immigrant in French statistics. On the other hand, persons born in France with foreign citizenship (the children of immigrants) are not listed as immigrants.