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The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (1,809 km²). Its area is 728.93 km2 (280.56 sq mi), which amounts to more than seven French departments: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence; Bouches-du-Rhône; Hautes Alpes; Var; Vaucluse and Territoire de Belfort all together are smaller than its area. It is also the most populous commune in all of Provence with a population exceeding 200,000 inhabitants in 1999(188 857 inhabitants). The city's metropolitan population was estimated at 295 000 residentsin 2004 by INSEE based on an urban zone of .