Located in north-eastern France, alongside Switzerland and Germany, Alsace enjoys an ideal location in the heart of Europe. The region has 1.7 million inhabitants, and comprises two départements (counties), the Upper Alsace to the south and the Lower Alsace to the north. At 190 km in length and 50 km wide, Alsace is a moderately sized region. Its modest surface area (8 280 km²) makes it easy to discover, while at the same time offering a wide variety of landscapes ranging from forests and valleys to plains and peaks.
Alsace is one of the most dynamic and prosperous regions in France. With its border location, Alsace is situated at Europe's economic crossroads around the Rhine. The region boasts an impressive modern infrastructure enabling it to fulfil its role as a trading centre between northern and southern Europe.
Industry continues to thrive here, representing approximately 30 % of Alsace's GDP. Alsace also plays a leading international role, being one of France's top regions when it comes to attracting foreign capital. Industrial activities carried out here are extremely varied, and include the automotive and petrochemical sectors. However, the main driving force of the local economy is now the service sector, with the biotechnology industry taking pride of place. Where agriculture is concerned, Alsace's farming sector is chiefly represented by winegrowing and hop production.
Départements (countries) : Bas-Rhin (Prefecture: Strasbourg) and Haut-Rhin (Prefecture: Colmar)
Surface area : 8280 km² accounting for 1.5% of France's total surface area
Population : 1 775 000 inhabitants (1 120 000 in Bas-Rhin 685 000 in Haut-Rhin)
Density : 214 inhabitants per km²
Highest point : The Grand Ballon (altitude of 1424)