The new territorial division into “living areas” in 2012: three-quarters of the areas are rural
In France, “living areas” (bassins de vie) are defined as the smallest territorial units in which residents have access to basic infrastructure and services. It is within their boundaries that residents conduct a large part of their daily life. In 2012, France comprised 1,666 living areas, of which 1,287 are classified as rural under European Commission criteria. Rural living areas are naturally larger and less densely populated than urban living areas. Their infrastructure is less varied. Yet they are the areas that have registered the strongest population growth in the past decade.