Geographical Distribution of the Population in France, or Population Density by Commune


Victor Turquan (1857-19?) headed the French Statistical Bureau from 1887 to 1896. He wrote numerous works on economic and demographic statistics, which included maps with graded coloration and iso-lines (lines connecting points with equal values). For Turquan, “the study of population distribution within the territory of a country belongs as much to geography as to statistics.” In an era in which color rarely was used even in statistical charts, he created this map of the population distribution in France using isopleths (lines surrounding zones with similar features) and “pitches of color” to draw the different regions. Turquan’s powers of visualization and the aesthetic quality of his maps made his work stand out from that of other statisticians of his time, and prefigured the more systematic development of quantitative cartography in the 20th century.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Charles Bayle, Paris


Title in Original Language

Répartition géographique de la population en France ou densité de la population par commune


Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

Printed map, color, 65 x 72 centimeters


  • Scale 1:1 600 000

Last updated: May 24, 2016