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Lyon is the third largest city in France, after Paris and Marseille. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône and is the capital of the Metropolis of Lyon and the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

The city of Lyon has a population of 513,275 and the metropolitan area has a population of 2,265,375 approximately.

Lyon has a humid subtropical climate, bordering on an oceanic climate due to the higher average temperature being around 22 °C.

Data and facts

  • The city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, and historical and architectural landmarks; part of it is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Lyon played a significant role in the history of cinema: it is where Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematograph.
  • Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who created the Statue of Liberty, also designed the Fontaine Bartholdi, which can be found in Lyon’s Place des Terreaux.
  • Head of state: President Emmanuel Macron, since 2017.
  • Language: French
  • Country motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
  • Currency: Euro 
  • Median Age: 41.5 years
  • Life expectancy: 82 years
  • Religion: 58% Christianity, 8.4% Islam, 31.9% unaffiliated


The city of Lyon is divided into a number of municipal arrondissements, each of which is identified by a number and has its own council and town hall. Gérard Collomb currently serves as Mayor of Lyon.


Lyon and its region Rhône-Alpes represent one of the most important economies in Europe.

The city has a diversified economy. The textile industry is dominated by the manufacture of rayon and silk, but the production of chemicals has become the key industry. Originally connected with the treatment of textiles, it was given fresh impetus by the manufacture of dyes, synthetic fibres, and oil products. The important metallurgical industry includes a wide variety of processes, varying from foundries to the construction of mechanical, electrical, and electronic equipment. The construction, food, and printing industries are also prosperous.

The city of Lyon is working to enable the establishment of new headquarters in the territory. High-tech industries such as biotechnology, software development, video game (Arkane Studios, Ivory Tower, Eden Games, EA France, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe), and internet services are also growing. Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities.

Tourism is an important part of the Lyon economy. Approximately 60% of tourists visit for business, with the rest for leisure. The festivals most important for attracting tourists are the Fête des lumières, the Nuits de Fourvière every summer, the Biennale d'art contemporain and the Nuits Sonores.

Business environment

The peninsula is the heart of the business district. The east bank of the Rhône is divided between a wealthy area, the Brotteaux, and a district with factories and workers’ houses. To the south, along the Rhône, Feyzin and Saint-Fons constitute one of the largest oil-refining complexes in France.

Lyon is home to the headquarters of many large companies such as Groupe SEB, Sanofi Pasteur, Renault Trucks, Norbert Dentressangle, LCL S.A., Descours & Cabaud, Merial, Point S, BioMérieux, Iveco Bus, Compagnie Nationale du Rhône, GL Events, April Group, Boiron, Feu Vert, Panzani, Babolat, Euronews, Lyon Airports, LVL Medical, and inter-governmental agencies like IARC and Interpol. Lyon is also home to the P4-Inserm–ean Merieux Laboratory which conducts top-level vaccine research

The specialisation of some sectors of activities has led to the creation of many main business centres: La Part-Dieu, Cité Internationale, and the district of Confluence.


The city of Lyon counts with an airport, Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport,  located at the east of the region and serves a base for domestic and international flights. It is a key transport facility for the entire Rhône-Alpes region, with coach links to other cities in the area.

Subway facilities are also found in the city. The Lyon Metro first opened in 1974 and it currently consists of four lines, serving 40 stations. The Rhônexpress tram also links the airport with the business quarters and offers connections with the metro, Tramway, and bus lines. Lyon public transport Sytral also offers a bus service.


Over the centuries, many Lyonnais like the Lumiere brothers, André Ampère or Claude Bernard, have made their mark in the history of science, art and creation. Lyon has always been a land of innovation and it continues to develop research centres and scientific clusters at the cutting edge of life sciences, green-tech and digital technology. It stands out that 5 international competitive clusters are located in Lyon:

  • Lyonbiopôle (vaccines and diagnostics)
  • Axelera (chemicals and the environment)
  • LUTB Transport & mobility systems (urban transport systems)
  • Techtera (technical textiles)
  • Imaginove (Content and digital usage)

Lyon's tech sector is booming. The mix of international talent, government initiatives and entrepreneurial spirit is showing great results. Investments in French startups is also growing, with Dealroom reporting a whopping €4.3 billion in venture capital funding raised in 2019 and no signs of stopping. In September, 2019 president Emmanuel Macron announced a new €5 billion public-private investment fund, aimed at helping companies to scale up. 

Some of the most popular Lyon startups in 2019 were Lokalise, Vesper, CosmoTech,Tilkee, Antidot, Xotelia or Lili smart.

Social Wellness and Human Resources


The French healthcare system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In Lyon there are plenty of highly equipped facilities like the Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse, The Centre Hospitalier Saint Joseph Saint Luc or The Centre Léon Bérard - Lutte contre le cancer.


Lyon is the seat of University of Lyon and is the most important educational centre outside Paris.


Some of the major media companies in the city are Le Journal, Espace Group, The Petit Paumé, Le Progrès, Lyon Capitale, MFM Radio and Télé Lyon Métropole.


Cultural life is reflected in the riches of the local museums, which include a textile collection, the archaeological museum at Fourvière, a museum of fine arts, and a museum of printing and banking. It also stands out in the Musee du Cinema et de la Miniature and the Gallo-Roman Museum.

The collections of the municipal library are noted for their specimens of items from the first 50 years of printing and for their rare books.


Music and drama festivals are held every year in June in the Roman theatre at Fourvière, and provide a reminder of the long history of the city.












Vision / R&D
Finance / Economy
Talent / People / Culture
Innovation / Livability
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Social impact
 • Mayor (2018–2020)
47.87 km2 (18.48 sq mi)
 • Metro
6,018.62 km2 (2,323.80 sq mi)
 (Jan. 2016[2])
 • Rank
 • Density
11,000/km2 (28,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
(2nd in France)
 • Summer (DST)
INSEE/Postal code
69123 /69001-69009
162–349 m (531–1,145 ft)
Sourced by wikipedia