Prefecture building of the Seine-Saint-Denis department, in Bobigny

Coat of arms

Location of Seine-Saint-Denis in France
Coordinates: 48°54′N 02°29′E / 48.900°N 2.483°E / 48.900; 2.483Coordinates: 48°54′N 02°29′E / 48.900°N 2.483°E / 48.900; 2.483
Country France
Region Île-de-France
Prefecture Bobigny
Subprefectures Le Raincy
  President of the General Council Claude Bartolone (PS)
  Total 236 km2 (91 sq mi)
Population (2013)
  Total 1,552,482
  Rank 6th
  Density 6,600/km2 (17,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 93
Arrondissements 3
Cantons 21
Communes 40
^1 French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Seine-Saint-Denis (French pronunciation: [sɛn.sɛ̃.də.ni]) is a French department located in the Île-de-France region. Locally, it is often referred to colloquially as quatre-vingt treize or neuf trois (i.e. "ninety-three" or "nine three"), after its official administrative number, 93.

The learned and rarely used demonym for the inhabitants is Séquano-Dionysiens; more common is Dionysiens.


Seine-Saint-Denis is located to the northeast of Paris. It has a surface area of only 236 km², making it one of the smallest departments in France. Seine-Saint-Denis and two other small departments, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne, form a ring around Paris, known as the Petite Couronne ("little crown"). They form, together with Paris the Greater Paris since January 1st 2016.


Seine-Saint-Denis is made up of three departmental arrondissements and 40 communes:

Arrondissement of
  1. Saint-Ouen
  2. Aubervilliers
  3. Saint-Denis
  4. L'Île-Saint-Denis
  5. Épinay-sur-Seine
  6. Villetaneuse
  7. Pierrefitte-sur-Seine
  8. Stains
  9. La Courneuve
Arrondissement of
  1. Dugny
  2. Le Bourget
  3. Drancy
  4. Bobigny
  5. Bondy
  6. Les Pavillons-sous-Bois
  7. Noisy-le-Sec
  8. Romainville
  9. Pantin
  10. Le Pré-Saint-Gervais
  11. Les Lilas
  12. Bagnolet
  13. Montreuil
  14. Rosny-sous-Bois
  15. Villemomble
Arrondissement of
Le Raincy
  1. Neuilly-Plaisance
  2. Neuilly-sur-Marne
  3. Noisy-le-Grand
  4. Gournay-sur-Marne
  5. Gagny
  6. Le Raincy
  7. Clichy-sous-Bois
  8. Montfermeil
  9. Coubron
  10. Vaujours
  11. Livry-Gargan
  12. Sevran
  13. Aulnay-sous-Bois
  14. Le Blanc-Mesnil
  15. Villepinte
  16. Tremblay-en-France


Seine-Saint-Denis was created in January 1968, through the implementation of a law passed in July 1964. It was formed from the part of the (hitherto larger) Seine department to the north and north-east of the Paris ring road (and the line of the old city walls), together with a small slice taken from Seine-et-Oise.

Seine-Saint-Denis has a history as a veritable left-wing stronghold, belonging to the ceinture rouge (red belt) of Paris. The French Communist Party especially has maintained a continued strong presence in the department, and still controls the city councils in cities such as Saint-Denis, Montreuil and La Courneuve. Until 2008, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were the only departments where the Communist Party had a majority in the general councils but the 2008 cantonal elections saw the socialists become the strongest group at the Seine-Saint-Denis general council (while the Communist Party gained a majority in Allier and lost it in 2015).

A commune of Seine-Saint-Denis, Clichy-sous-Bois, was the scene of the death of two youths which sparked the nationwide riots of autumn 2005. In October - November, 9,000 cars were burned and 3,000 rioters were arrested.


Seine-Saint-Denis is the French department with the highest proportion of immigrants: 21.7% at the 1999 census (see table below). This figure does not include the children of immigrants born on French soil as well as some native elites from former French colonies and people who came from overseas France. The ratio of ethnic minorities is difficult to estimate accurately as French law prohibits the collection of ethnic data for census taking purposes. However estimates suggest there are 500,000 Muslims out of a total population of 1.53 million (32.7%). Saint-Denis is home to the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) in the Bourget district, which annually hosts one of Europe's major Muslim conferences, Paris-le-Bourget.

In 2005, 56.7% of young people under 18 were of foreign origin including 38% of African origin (22% from Maghreb and 16% from Sub-Saharan Africa). Islam is believed to be the most practiced religion in the department.[1][2]

Place of birth of residents

Place of birth of residents of Seine-Saint-Denis in 1999
Born in Metropolitan France Born outside Metropolitan France
72.5% 27.5%
Born in
Overseas France
Born in foreign countries with French citizenship at birth1 EU-15 immigrants2 Non-EU-15 immigrants
3.1% 2.7% 4.4% 17.3%
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.


Miscellaneous topics

Seine-Saint-Denis was scheduled to be the site of a 2004 International Exhibition. However, this event was cancelled.


  1. Michèle Tribalat, Michèle Tribalat : "L'islam reste une menace", Le Monde, 13 octobre 2011
  2. Michèle Tribalat, Les yeux grands fermés, Denoël, 2010

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