Choosing Bretagne & Pays de la Loire

Economic, cultural and social data for Bretagne & Pays de la Loire

The Université Bretagne Loire region

The Bretagne and Pays de la Loire regions constitute 10 % of the French territory (5 % each) with a surface area of 27,208 km2 for Brittany and 35,000 km2 for the Pays de la Loire region, and 10 % of the French population (5 % Bretagne, 5 % Pays de la Loire region)

  • Economy

In 2013, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Bretagne was almost 87 billion euros and of the Pays de la Loire region almost 105.8 billions euros.
The Bretagne and Pays de la Loire regions rank respectively as the 5th and 7th French regions in terms of population, surface area and wealth produced.
60 % of salaried employment in the Pays de Loire region comes from the tertiary sector, and 74 % in Bretagne (including trade).
Germany is the leading foreign trading partner of the Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region.

  • Attractiveness of the Bretagne and Pays de la Loire regions

The Yves Rocher, Beaumanoir, Bénéteau and Lactalis groups are examples of major groups with a national and international scope that are based in Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region.

  • Tourism

The Bretagne and Pays de la Loire regions are respectively the 5th and 7th regions in France in terms of visitor numbers.
Bretagne is France’s leading maritime region, with 42 % of the French metropolitan coastline.
Bretagne is the leading destination for seaside holidays.
The Machines of the Isle of Nantes event attracts over 520,000 visitors to the Nantes area each year.
The Loire à Vélo is an 800-kilometre cycling trail along the Loire valley.

  • Festivals

The Hellfest festival attracts almost 150,000 fans of extreme music over three days to Clisson (44). In 2011, the Vieilles Charrues festival in Carhaix (29) enjoyed record participation, with 268,000 festival-goers over 4 days at the biggest festival of French music.

  • Higher Education

There were 233,978 students in Bretagne and Pays de la Loire in the 2012-2013 period.
The Bretagne and Pays de la Loire are respectively 5th and 8th in France in terms of people working in research and development.

  • Innovation

There are 2 IRTs (Technological Research Institutes) and 8 centres of excellence in Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region.

  • Transport

1,874,018 passengers pass through the airports of Bretagne each year, and there are 2 million passengers a year for Nantes airport alone.
Nantes and Rennes are just two hours from Paris with an average of almost 21 departures a day by TGV train.

  • Living in Brittany and the Loire region

Bretagne has the most sports club members in France, with 28 % of the population, and the Pays de Loire region is in second place.
The number one French daily newspaper is the regional newspaper Ouest-France.
The Bretagne and Pays de la Loire regions have been voted respectively the 1st and 2nd best places to live in France.

  • Original facts

Bretagne is the 2nd leading region in France for the punctuality of the TER regional trains (96.8 % arrive on time or less than 5 minutes late).
Bretagne is the only region with free dual carriageways.

5 reasons for choosing Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region

Bretagne and Pays de la Loire are regions with strong scientific and academic potential. The two educational authorities are regularly ranked in the leading trio for top pass rates for the baccalaureate. 

A high percentage of young people in education up to the age of 24, low numbers of students leaving the education system without qualifications, and strong personal commitment from students and staff all explain why the level of success at exams is always above the national average in this region.

The two regions provide favourable studying conditions, particularly through the wide variety of courses on offer. 

The Université Bretagne Loire federal community, bringing together 7 universities, 15 schools and 5 research organisations aims to broaden this recognised educational potential.

 

Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region can boast a unique socio-economic environment, providing a real advantage for companies in the region.

Thanks to a dynamic economy, with strong growth and a rising GDP, Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region are ranked among the top French regions for wealth creation.

Port facilities, infrastructures, cutting-edge technologies and a pleasant way of life help to make these regions an ideal place to do business.

The food industry, telecommunications and ship and boat building are the major industries in Bretagne. Bretagne is France’s leading producer of pork, poultry and eggs, milk and vegetables, and is the 2nd most important telecommunications centre in France. The companies in the Pays de la Loire Loire region, meanwhile, stand out in several sectors, including I.T., manufacturing, electronics, optical and electrical equipment, and the manufacture of rubber and plastic products. The Pays de la Loire region can also count on renewable marine energies to add value to the regional economy.

The strong economic potential of these two regions help companies to innovate. In December 2014, Bretagne had, for example, 484 overseas firms providing 33,760 jobs.

Moreover, Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region have two IRTs (Technological Research Institutes) whose aim is to develop highly competitive technological and economic sectors, and to innovate in areas that are strategic for France.

 

Bretagne and Pays de la Loire region come top of rankings for the best regions to live in France: high-quality education, low unemployment, equal opportunities for men and women, high employment rates for the 18-25 age range – these are all reasons for the quality of life in north-western France.

The ideal living conditions here can also be explained by a unique geographic and cultural environment, with a mild climate, a rich cultural heritage and a wide range of landscapes.

To find out more: see the article (in French) Carte : quelles sont les régions où il fait bon vivre ?  published on the lesechos.fr website on 27 November 2015.

 

Bretagne and Pays de la Loire have a wide range of cultural activities offer: festivals, events and a rich heritage attract numerous visitors each year. 

Astropolis in Brest, the Transmusicales festival in Rennes, the Hellfest in Clisson, as well as the 3 Elephants in Laval, the Route du Rock in St Malo… North-western France is a land of festivals, illustrating the region’s dynamism. The Vieilles Charrues festival in Carhaix is in fact the biggest music festival in France!

The Cornouaille Festival in Quimper and the Interceltique Festival in Lorient bring together a large number of artists around Breton culture, and symbolise a strong sense of local identity.

In Nantes, there are numerous events all through the year: the Machines of the Isle of Nantes event attracts over 520,000 visitors to the area each year.

The Loire à Vélo is an 800-kilometre cycling trail along the valley of the Loire with its incredible landscapes and chateaux.

 

// Key figures

Along with the Pays de la Loire region, Bretagne is the French region where the inhabitants travel the most.

This high rate of mobility can be explained in particular by a higher rate of employment in these two regions than nationally, but also by well-developed infrastructure and services.

Since summer 2017, the launch of the high-speed train line means the journey from Paris to Rennes takes just 1 hour 25 minutes, with the TGV trains reaching speeds between 300 and 320 km an hour.

 

// Key figures