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Sarthe(särt), department (1990 pop. 514,600), NW France. Le MansMans, Le
, city (1990 pop. 148,465), capital of Sarthe dept., NW France, on the Sarthe River. The historical capital of Maine, it is also an important manufacturing, commercial, educational, and communications center. Its service industries, especially insurance, are important.
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a department in northwestern France; located in the basin of the Sarthe River, a tributary of the Loire. Area, 6,200 sq km. Population, 490,400 (1975). The capital is Le Mans.
Twenty-eight percent of Sarthe’s economically active population is employed in agriculture and 25 percent in industry (1968). The main branch of agriculture is the breeding of cattle, swine, and horses. Wheat, barley, potatoes, and fodder crops are cultivated. Industry includes the production of motor vehicles (there is a plant in Le Mans), food, and leather and footwear.