France: departments and provinces

According to my Hammond World Atlas, France is divided into ninety-six departments, of roughly equal size (including two on the island of Corsica). A more recent atlas, however, seems to indicate that France has restored, for the most part, the ancient provincial boundaries and scrapped the departments. What’s the deal?

France is divided into 22 regions and they are further subdivided into 96 departments.

Just depends how you want to slice everything up.

Well, the CIA World Fact Book - 2002 says:

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes:

(“Metropolitan France” is European France. The four overseas departments are analogous to Hawaii in being separated political entities with the same right of representation in parliament.)