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Brittany (French (External link) : Bretagne [bʁə.taɲ] (External link) ( (External link) listen (External link) ); Breton (External link) : Breizh, pronounced [brɛjs] (External link) ; Gallo (External link) : Bertaèyn) is a cultural region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom (External link) and then a duchy (External link) , Brittany was united (External link) to the Kingdom of France (External link) in 1532 as a province (External link) . Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain (as opposed to Great Britain). Brittany is considered as one of the six Celtic nations (External link) .[1] (External link) [2] (External link) [3] (External link) [4] (External link)

Brittany occupies the northwest peninsula of continental Europe in northwest France. It is bordered by the English Channel (External link) to the north, the Celtic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Bay of Biscay (External link) to the south. Its land area is 34,023 km²(13,136 sq mi). The historical province of Brittany is divided into five departments: Finistère (External link) in the west, Côtes-d'Armor (External link) in the north,Ille-et-Vilaine (External link) in the north east, Loire-Atlantique (External link) in the south east and Morbihan (External link) in the south on the Bay of Biscay.

In 1956, French regions (External link) were created by gathering departments (External link) between them.[5] (External link) The Region of Brittany (External link) comprises, since then, four of the five Breton departments (80% of historical Brittany), while the remaining area of the old Brittany, the Loire-Atlantique (External link) department, around Nantes, forms part of the Pays de la Loire (External link) region. This territorial organisation is regularly contested. The Kingdom and the Duchy of Brittany (External link) , the province of Brittany, and the modern Region of Brittany cover the Western part of Armorica (External link) , as it was known during the period of Roman occupation.

In January 2007 the population of historic Brittany was estimated to be 4,365,500. Of these, 71% lived in the region of Brittany, while 29% lived in the region of Pays-de-la-Loire. At the 1999 census, the largest metropolitan areas (External link) were Nantes (External link) (711,120 inhabitants),Rennes (External link) (521,188 inhabitants), and Brest (External link) (303,484 inhabitants).