department = Allier
number = 03
region = Auvergne
prefecture = Moulins
population = 344,721
pop_date = 1999
pop_rank = 63rd
density = 47
area = 7340
area_scale = 9
arrond = 3
cantons = 35
communes = 320
pres_party = PCF
img_coa = Blason_dpt_fr_Allier.svg
Occitan: "Alèir") is a department in south-central Francenamed after the Allier River.
In 1940, the government of Marshal
Philippe Pétainchose the town of Vichyas its capital.
Allier is the most productive agricultural area of the Auvergne. Vichy has long been known for its water, which is exported worldwide.
Montluçon, Vichy, and Moulins are the principal cities. The rest of the department consists of smaller towns, mostly along the rivers. In general, the department is sparsely populated. The population increased until the end of the 19th century because of the growth of industry in Montluçon and Moulins and development of the thermal resources at Vichy. At that time the department had over 420,000 inhabitants. After the losses of World War I, the population stagnated, with a small increase in the 1960s. Since then, it has decreased slightly from 386,533 in 1968 to 344,721 in 1999.
Communes of the Allier department
Cantons of the Allier department
Arrondissements of the Allier department
* [http://www.allier.pref.gouv.fr/ Prefecture website]
* [http://www.cg03.fr/ General council website]
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