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Coat of arms
Location of Ain in France
Coordinates: 46°5′N 5°20′E / 46.083°N 5.333°E / 46.083; 5.333Coordinates: 46°5′N 5°20′E / 46.083°N 5.333°E / 46.083; 5.333
Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Prefecture Bourg-en-Bresse
Subprefectures Belley
 • President of the General Council Rachel Mazuir (PS)
 • Total 5,762 km2 (2,225 sq mi)
Population (2007)[1]
 • Total 574,377
 • Rank 42nd
 • Density 99.684/km2 (258.179/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Department number 01
Arrondissements 4
Cantons 43
Communes 419

^1  French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2

Ain is a department in France. Its prefecture is Bourg-en-Bresse. The name comes from the Ain river. It has the number 01.


The first people who lived in Ain arrived around 15000 B.C. The menhir of Simandre-sur-Suran is from that era.[2]

The departments of Ain and Léman were created during the French Revolution.[2] At first, the Ain had 9 districts, 49 cantons and 501 communes.[2] The Revolution did not claim many victims in the department, but it destroyed many churches and momuments. There were no more districts during the first French Consulate (1802). The department of Léman became part of Ain.[2]

World War I did not affect the department, as it was far away from the battles. A lot of the vineyards disappeared.

During World War II, 600 people were deported. 300 of them were killed.[2]


Climate in the Ain department is mostly temperate. Winters are cold and summers are very hot. Rainfall is moderate.


In 1990, there were 471,019 inhabitants, in 1999 515,207 and 565,000 in 2006 (INSEE estimates). The increase shows the growing attractiveness of the department.

The average population density is 97 inhabitants/km² (France: 110).


Tourism in the Ain department has created 20,000 jobs.[3] This is 2.9% of all jobs in Ain.[3]

In 2006, 700,000 tourists visited museums, castles, religious monuments, gardens and caves in the department.[3]

There are 15,000 hunters registered in the departments. 3,000 to 4,000 of them hunt in the Dombes which is a good region for hunting water birds.[3]


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