NUTS of Portugal

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The NUTS of Portugal, refers to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics system developed by Eurostat, and employed in Portugal for statistical purposes. The NUTS branch extends from NUTS1, NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions, with the complementary LAU (Local Administrative Units) sub-categorization being used to differentiate the local areas, of trans-national importance.

NUTS in Portugal[edit]

Developed by Eurostat and implemented in 1998, the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) regions, which comprises three levels of the Portuguese territory, are instrumental in European Union'sStructural Fund delivery mechanisms.[1][2] The standard was developed by the European Union, and thus only covers the member states, and extensively used by national governments, Eurostat and other EU bodies for statistical and policy matters.[3][4] Until 4 November 2002, the Sistema Estatístico Nacional (SEN) used a NUTS codification system that was distinct from the Eurostat system. With the enactment of Decree Law 244/2002 (5 November 2002), published in the Diário da República, this system was abandoned in order to harmonize the national system with that of Eurostat.

The NUTS system subdivides the nation into three levels: NUTS I, NUTS II and NUTS III. In some European partners, as is the case with Portugal, a complementary hierarchy, respectively LAU I and LAU II (posteriorly referred to as NUTS IV and NUTS V) is employed. The LAU, or Local Administrative Units, in the Portuguese context pertains to the 308 municipalities (LAU I) and 4257 civil parishes (LAU II) respectively. In the broadest sense, the NUTS hierarchy, while they may follow some of the borders (municipal or parish) diverge in their delineation.

Sudvision No. Description
NUTS 1: National 3 Continental Portugal, the Azores and Madeira
NUTS 2: Regions 7 Regional Coordination Commissions, and Autonomous Regions
NUTS 3: Subregion 25 Administrative and Autonomous Regions

NUTS I[edit]

Territorial map corresponding to the NUTS I and NUTS II designations
Main articles: Continental Portugal, Azores and Madeira

The first and broadest subdivision of Portugal is between mainland Portugal and the two autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.

NUTS II[edit]

Main article: Regions of Portugal

Although the districts are still the most socially relevant subdivision, their function is being phased in favour of locally oriented regional units, and regions are growing in importance. Portugal is divided into five regions, administered by the Commissions for Coordination and Regional Development (Portuguese: Comissões de Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Regional) in mainland Portugal, plus the two autonomous regions that are their own NUTS II regions.

NUTS III[edit]

Territorial map corresponding to the 30 subregions of mainland Portugal (NUTS III)

The seven regions of Portugal are likewise subdivided into 30 subregions (Portuguese: subregiões) with statistical relevance only. Since these regions are based on European standards and not national distinctions, there are inconsistencies between Portuguese regions, subregions and/or district divisions.

The two autonomous regions (Portuguese: regiões autónomas) in the Atlantic, correspond to their own NUTS I, II and III categories.

NUTS codes[edit]

PT11 Norte
PT111 Minho-Lima
PT112 Cávado
PT113 Ave
PT114 Grande Porto
PT115 Tâmega
PT116 Entre Douro e Vouga
PT117 Douro
PT118 Alto Trás-os-Montes
PT15 Algarve
PT150 Algarve
PT16 Centro
PT161 Baixo Vouga
PT162 Baixo Mondego
PT163 Pinhal Litoral
PT164 Pinhal Interior Norte
PT165 Dão-Lafões
PT166 Pinhal Interior Sul
PT167 Serra da Estrela
PT168 Beira Interior Norte
PT169 Beira Interior Sul
PT16A Cova da Beira
PT16B Oeste
PT16C Médio Tejo
PT17 Lisboa
PT171 Grande Lisboa
PT172 Península de Setúbal
PT18 Alentejo
PT181 Alentejo Litoral
PT182 Alto Alentejo
PT183 Alentejo Central
PT184 Baixo Alentejo
PT185 Lezíria do Tejo
PT2 Região Autónoma dos AÇORES
PT20 Região Autónoma dos Açores
PT200 Região Autónoma dos Açores
PT3 Região Autónoma da MADEIRA
PT30 Região Autónoma da Madeira
PT300 Região Autónoma da Madeira


The LAU1 designated municipalities of Portugal

Municipalities and civil parishes were at NUTS IV and V levels, but these nomenclature units have been abolished and substituted by LAUs: the municipality is classified as LAU 1, while the civil parish is LAU level 2. Below the NUTS levels, the two LAU (Local Administrative Units) levels are:

Sudvision No. Description
LAU 1 308 Municipalities
LAU 2 4260 Civil Parishes

The LAU codes of Portugal can be downloaded at: EurostatPage white excel.png

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The NUTS system was approved by Community Legislation in 1998, but only entered into function in 2003 through enacting regulations.
  2. ^ University of Coimbra (2010), p.2
  3. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística (Portuguese language) – Nomenclatura das Unidades Territoriais para fins Estatísticos 2002, accessed May 2006
  4. ^ de Informação Geográfica (Portuguese language) – Biblioteca de Mapas Administrativos, accessed May 2006