Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Coat of Arms of Nord
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Situated in the north-east of the country along the western half of the Belgian frontier, the department is unusually long and narrow. Its principal city is Lille, which with nearby Roubaix and Tourcoing constitutes the center of a cluster of industrial and mining towns totalling slightly over a million inhabitants. Other important cities are Valenciennes, Douai, and Dunkirk.
The principal rivers are the following:
At the forefront of France's 19th century industrialisation, the area suffered severely during World War I and now faces the economic, social and environmental problems associated with the decline of coal mining with its neighbours following the earlier decline of the Lille-Roubaix textile industry.
Nord is the most heavily populated department, with a population of 2.55 million and an area of 5,740 km².
West Flemish is spoken by around 20,000 people in the northern part of the department.
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