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List of cities in France in SQL, CSV or XML

In many web projects it is useful to have a database of French cities, at least to verify that the name of the city indicated by a user is correct. This article offers a database of 36,700 cities in France, with associated data such as area, number of inhabitants and geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) of these cities.

SQL database of cities in France

Usefulness of such a database of cities in France

Such a database can be useful for websites or mobile applications. Here is a non-exhaustive list of possible applications:

  • Associate a city with the users of a site, then group them by proximity or create an interactive map of these users
  • Have standardized city names (avoid spelling mistakes). It is very convenient for online sales sites. It is also useful for improving ergonomics by suggesting the correct spelling.
  • Create a directory on which registrants can be searched according to their city
  • Create a city search form with an auto-suggestion of cities that start with the same letters. Thanks to the column which allows to know the population, it is possible to suggest a popular city in priority.
  • In a form, pre-fill the name of the city if the postal code is indicated
  • Thanks to geolization, this database can help indicate nearby towns

Free version

Table data

The database proposed in this article contains the following information in particular:

  • Department: department number.
  • Slug: unique identifier in lowercase, without accent and without spaces. Can be used to make the URLs of a website.
  • Last name : name in upper case and without accent.
  • Simple name: name in lowercase, without accent and with dashes replaced by spaces. Can be used to search when it is not known if the city name has a hyphen or spaces (eg “Saint-Étienne” has a hyphen as a separator, while “Le Havre” has a space as a separator)
  • Real name : correct name with accents
  • Soundex name: soundex of the name of the city (allows you to find cities that sound almost the same) [ajouté le 31/10/2013]
  • Metaphone name: metaphone of the name of the city (same use as the soundex) [ajouté le 31/10/2013]
  • Postal code : city ​​zip code. If the city has more than one postcode, they are all listed and separated by a hyphen [ajouté le 31/10/2013]
  • Municipality number: number of the town in the department. Combined with the department number, it creates the INSEE code under 5 characters.
  • Common code (or INSEE code): unique identifier under 5 characters
  • Borough : city ​​district
  • Canton: Township of the city
  • Population in 2010: number of inhabitants at the 2010 census
  • Population in 1999: number of inhabitants in the 1999 census
  • Population in 2012 (approximate): value expressed in hundred
  • Density in 2010: number of inhabitants per square kilometer rounded to the whole. Calculated from the number of inhabitants and the area of ​​the city [corrigé le 02/07/2014]
  • Surface / area: city ​​area in square kilometers [corrigé le 02/07/2014]
  • Longitude / latitude in degrees: geolocation of the city center. Used to locate the city on a map (example: Google Maps map) [ajouté le 31/10/2013, corrigé le 07/11/2013]
  • Longitude / latitude in GRD: geolocation expressed in GRD
  • Longitude / latitude in DMS (Degree Minute Second): geolocation expressed in Degree Minute Second
  • Minimum / maximum altitude: minimum and maximum height of the city from the water level


Premium version


In the French cities table there is a column containing the postal codes of these cities. When several postal codes are associated with the same city, they are separated by a hyphen, but this can affect performance in some cases. Knowing that a city can have several postal codes and that a postal code can be associated with several cities, offers a correspondence table for these cities.

In some cases this table can improve performance by 60! In a specific case, an SQL query which took 3.14s to execute was increased to 52ms thanks to the correspondence table.

The premium cities table also contains 6 additional columns:

  • National ranking of the city according to the number of inhabitants
  • National ranking of the city according to the area of ​​the city
  • National ranking of the city according to population density
  • Classification of the city’s department according to the number of inhabitants
  • Classification of the city’s department according to the size of the city
  • Classification of the city’s department according to population density


Premium table + correspondence table with postal code (SQL, CSV and XML)

To know : the correspondence table is based neither more nor less on the “postal code” column of the table of French cities and contains a small error rate (with more than 36,000 French cities, you have to be forgiving, thank you for your understanding)