You are here: Home Basque culture Basque Country Northern Basque Country or Iparralde Population in the Northern Basque Country

Population in the Northern Basque Country

The Basque Country has 288,922 inhabitants.

Admittedly, the district of Bayonne only has 272,416 inhabitants, but the province of Soule is not included in this district. We therefore have to add the district of Mauléon (10,693 inhab.),  Tardets (3,253 inhab.) and the village of Esquiule (560 inhab.), which is part of the district of Oloron-Ste-Marie (Béarn). 
To obtain the distribution of the population according to historic provinces of the Northern Basque Country, we have to remember that 6 municipalities in Soule are part of the district of St-Palais (Lower-Navarre): Aroue (263), Domezain (514), Etcharry (128), Gestas (70), Oyhitzun-Oyhercq (208) and Osserain (236). The following table shows the distribution according to provinces with these corrections.


Number of municipalities



Lower Navarre








Total Northern Basque country



The three major towns on the Basque Coast (Bayonne, Anglet and Biarritz) concentrate 112,026 inhabitants.

These figures were official on 1 January 2009. It is however worth highlighting the fact that they result from the census carried out in 2006. Between 5,000 and 6,000 inhabitants should therefore be added to this figure. 
We used the Basque Language Academy's classification of Basque municipalities according to provinces. The results of censuses are available for consultation on the website of the French National Institute for Statistics Economic Studies (INSEE) which makes a distinction between resident populations and mobile populations (students, armed forces, etc). In our analysis we have included both.


Iparraldea: the territory

iparraldea2.jpgPopulation: estimated 290 000 inhabitants in 2008.
Surface area: 2967 km2
Provinces: 158 municipalities in three provinces, Labourd, Lower Navarre and Soule.