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Flag of Charente
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Charente in France
Location of Charente in France
Coordinates: 45°50′N 0°20′E / 45.833°N 0.333°E / 45.833; 0.333Coordinates: 45°50′N 0°20′E / 45.833°N 0.333°E / 45.833; 0.333
Département4 March 1790
SubprefecturesCognac, Confolens
 • PresidentFrançois Bonneau
 • Total5,956 km2 (2,300 sq mi)
 • Total353,853
 • Density59.411/km2 (153.874/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeFR-16

Charente (Saintongeais: Chérente, Occitan: Charanta) is a department in southwestern France, in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

It is named after the Charente river, the most important river in the department. The two largest towns of the department, Angoulême and Cognac, are along this river.


Charente is one of the 83 French departments made during the French revolution, on 4 March 1790. It was created from the old province of Angoumois with lands around Angoulême.

The new department had six districts: Ruffec, Confolens, La Rochefoucauld, Angoulême, Barbezieux and Cognac. The capital (now prefecture) was Angoulême.[3]

In 1800, with the creation of the arrondissements in France, the six districts were changed into five arrondissements: Angoulême, Barbezieux, Cognac, Confolens and Ruffec.[3]

On 10 September 1926, the arrondissements of Barbezieux and Ruffec were eliminated.[3]


Charente is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. It has an area of 5,956 km2 (2,300 sq mi).[1]

The highest point of the department is Rocher aux Oiseaux, 368 m (1,207 ft) high, in the commune of Montrollet; the lowest point is in the valley of the Charente river, commune of Merpins, and is 8 m (26 ft) high.

The department is bordered by the departments: Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Dordogne and Charente-Maritime.

The main river in the department is the Charente that gives its name to the department. Other rivers are the Dronne and the Vienne.


The climate of Cognac is an oceanic climate with template summers, Cfb (Marine West Coast Climate) in the Köppen climate classification.[4]

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Cognac is 777.2 mm (30.6 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is November with 86.4 mm (3.4 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is July with an average of 48.3 mm (1.9 in).

The average temperature for the year in Cognac is 13.3 °C (55.9 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 21.1 °C (70.0 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 6.1 °C (43.0 °F).


The department is managed by the Departmental Council of the Charente in Angoulême. Charente is part of the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Administrative divisions

There are 3 arrondissements (districts), 19 cantons and 383 communes (municipalities) in Charente.[5]

Arrondissement Capital Population[6]
161 Angoulême Angoulême 197,377 2,217.1 89.0 117
162 Cognac Cognac 92,224 1,471.2 62.7 116
163 Confolens Confolens 64,252 2,267.7 28.3 150

The following is a list of the 19 cantons of the Charente department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:[8]

  1. Angoulême-1 (1601)
  2. Angoulême-2 (1602)
  3. Angoulême-3 (1603)
  4. Boëme-Échelle (1604)
  5. Boixe-et-Manslois (1605)
  6. Charente-Bonnieure (1606)
  7. Charente-Champagne (1607)
  8. Charente-Nord (1608)
  9. Charente-Sud (1609)
  10. Charente-Vienne (1610)
  11. Cognac-1 (1611)
  12. Cognac-2 (1612)
  13. La Couronne (1613)
  14. Gond-Pontouvre (1614)
  15. Jarnac (1615)
  16. Touvre-et-Braconne (1616)
  17. Tude-et-Lavalette (1617)
  18. Val de Nouère (1618)
  19. Val de Tardoire (1619)


The inhabitants of Charente are known, in French, as Charentais (women: Charentaises).[9]

Charente has a population, in 2014, of 353,853,[2] for a population density of 59.4 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Angoulême, with 197,377 inhabitants, is by far the largest. The other two, Cognac and Confolens, have respectively 92,224 and 64,252 inhabitants.[6]

Evolution of the population in Charente-Maritime <timeline> Colors=

 id:lightgrey value:gray(0.9)
 id:darkgrey  value:gray(0.7)
 id:sfondo value:rgb(1,1,1)
 id:barra value:rgb(0.6,0.7,0.8)

ImageSize = width:500 height:373 PlotArea = left:50 bottom:30 top:30 right:30 DateFormat = x.y Period = from:0 till:400000 TimeAxis = orientation:vertical AlignBars = justify ScaleMajor = gridcolor:darkgrey increment:50000 start:0 ScaleMinor = gridcolor:lightgrey increment:25000 start:0 BackgroundColors = canvas:sfondo


bar:1968 text:1968
bar:1975 text:1975
bar:1982 text:1982
bar:1990 text:1990
bar:1999 text:1999
bar:2008 text:2008
bar:2014 text:2014


color:barra width:30 align:left
bar:1968 from:0 till: 331016
bar:1975 from:0 till: 337064
bar:1982 from:0 till: 340770
bar:1990 from:0 till: 341993
bar:1999 from:0 till: 339628
bar:2008 from:0 till: 351581
bar:2014 from:0 till: 353853


bar:1968 at: 331016 fontsize:S text: 331,016 shift:(-13,5)
bar:1975 at: 337064 fontsize:S text: 337,064 shift:(-18,5)
bar:1982 at: 340770 fontsize:S text: 340,770 shift:(-18,5)
bar:1990 at: 341993 fontsize:S text: 341,993 shift:(-18,5)
bar:1999 at: 339628 fontsize:S text: 339,628 shift:(-18,5)
bar:2008 at: 351581 fontsize:S text: 351,581 shift:(-18,5)
bar:2014 at: 353853 fontsize:S text: 353,853 shift:(-18,5)


The 10 main cities in the department are:

City Population[6]
Angoulême 41,955 Angoulême
Cognac 18,717 Cognac
Soyaux 9,322 Angoulême
La Couronne 7,636 Angoulême
Ruelle-sur-Touvre 7,292 Angoulême
Saint-Yrieix-sur-Charente 7,210 Angoulême
Gond-Pontouvre 5,907 Angoulême
L' Isle-d'Espagnac 5,412 Angoulême
Champniers 5,251 Angoulême
Barbezieux-Saint-Hilaire 4,730 Cognac


The cognac is an alcoholic drink, a kind of brandy. It is made from grapes. It is made mainly around the city of Cognac.


Related pages


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Département de la Charente (16)" (in French). Comparateur de territoire. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Populations légales 2014: Recensement de la population - Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (in French). Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Historique de la Charente" (in French). Le SPLAF. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  4. "Cognac, France - Köppen Climate Classification". Weatherbase. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  5. "Département de la Charente (16)" (in French). Géographie administrative et d'étude. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Régions, départements, arrondissements, cantons et communes" (in French) (PDF). Populations légales 2014. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  7. "Département de la Charente (16)" (in French). Comparateur de territoire. Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques - INSEE. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  8. "Décret n° 2014-195 du 20 février 2014 portant délimitation des cantons dans le département de la Charente" (in French). Lé Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  9. "Charente (16)" (in French). Retrieved 12 July 2016. 

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