Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics

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The Classification of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS; French: Nomenclature des unités territoriales statistiques) is a geocode standard for referencing the subdivisions of countries for statistical purposes.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The standard is developed and regulated by the European Union, and thus only covers the member states of the EU in detail. The Classification of Territorial Units for Statistics is instrumental in the European Union's Structural Fund delivery mechanisms.

For each EU member country, a hierarchy of three NUTS levels is established by Eurostat in agreement with each member state; the subdivisions in some levels do not necessarily correspond to administrative divisions within the country. A NUTS code begins with a two-letter code referencing the country, which is identical to the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code (except UK instead of GB for the United Kingdom and EL instead of GR for Greece). The subdivision of the country is then referred to with one number. A second or third subdivision level is referred to with another number each. Each numbering starts with 1, as 0 is used for the upper level. Where the subdivision has more than nine entities, capital letters are used to continue the numbering. A similar statistical system is defined for the candidate countries and members of the European Free Trade Association, but they are not technically part of NUTS governed by the regulations.

The current NUTS classification, valid from 1 January 2015, lists 98 regions at NUTS 1, 276 regions at NUTS 2 and 1342 regions at NUTS 3 level.[7]


NUTS-1 as valid until 2014
NUTS-2 as valid until 2014
NUTS-3 as valid until 2014

There are three levels of NUTS defined, with two levels of local administrative units (LAUs) below. These were called NUTS levels 4 and 5 until July 2003, but were officially abolished by regulation, although they are sometimes still described as such. Note that not all countries have every level of division, depending on their size. One of the most extreme cases is Luxembourg, which has only LAUs; the three NUTS divisions each correspond to the entire country itself.

Countries NUTS 1 NUTS 2 NUTS 3
EU members 28 98 273 1324
Austria AT Groups of states 3 States 9 Groups of districts 35
Belgium BE Regions 3 Provinces (+ Brussels) 11 Arrondissements (Verviers split into two) 44
Bulgaria BG Regions 2 Planning regions 6 Oblasts 28
Cyprus CY 1 1 1
Czech Republic CZ 1 Territorial regions (+ Prague) 8 Administrative regions 14
Germany DE States (Bundesland) 16 Government regions (Regierungbezirk) (or equivalent) 39 Districts (Kreis) 429
Denmark DK 1 Regions (Regioner) 5 Provinces (Landsdele) 11
Estonia EE 1 1 Groups of counties 5
Spain ES Groups of autonomous communities 7 17 Autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities 19 Provinces + Islands + Ceuta and Melilla 59
Finland FI Mainland Finland, Åland 2 Large areas 5 Regions 20
France FR Z.E.A.T. + DOM 9 Regions + DOM 27 Departments + DOM 101
Greece EL (GR) Groups of development regions 4 Regions 13 Prefectures 51
Hungary HU Statistical large regions (statisztikai nagyrégiók) 3 Planning and statistical regions (tervezési-statisztikai régió) 7 Counties (megye) + Budapest 20
Croatia HR 1 Regions 2 Counties 21
Ireland IE 1 Regional Assemblies 2 Regional Authorities 8
Italy IT Groups of regions 5 Regions (Trentino-Alto Adige split into two) 21 Provinces 110
Lithuania LT 1 1 Counties 10
Luxembourg LU 1 1 1
Latvia LV 1 1 Statistical regions 6
Malta MT 1 1 Islands 2
Netherlands NL Groups of provinces 4 Provinces 12 COROP regions 40
Poland PL Regions 6 Voivodeships 16 Subregions 66
Portugal PT Continent + Azores + Madeira 3 Coordination and development regions + autonomous regions 7 Groups of municipalities 30
Romania RO Macroregions 4 Regions 8 Counties + Bucharest 42
Sweden SE Regions 3 National areas 8 Counties 21
Slovenia SI 1 Macroregions 2 Statistical regions 12
Slovakia SK 1 Oblasts 4 Regions 8
United Kingdom UK Regions of England 9 Sub-Regions

i: of counties; or
ii: individual counties; or
iii: of districts in Greater London. [=union]

30 Upper tier authorities and groups of unitary authorities and districts 93
Wales 1 Groups of Principal Areas 2 Groups of Principal Areas 12
Scotland 1 Groups of Council and/or Island Areas 4 Groups of Council Areas or Islands Areas 23
Northern Ireland 1 1 Groups of districts 5
Candidate countries 6 15 37 133
Albania AL 1 Regions (non-administrative) 3 Counties 12
Macedonia MK 1 1 Statistical regions 8
Montenegro ME 1 1 1
Serbia RS Groups of regions 2 Regions 5 Districts 29
Turkey TR Regions 12 Sub-regions 26 Provinces 81
EFTA countries 3 3 15 46
Switzerland CH 1 Regions 7 Cantons 26
Iceland IS 1 1 Capital Region / Rest of country 2
Liechtenstein LI 1 1 1
Norway NO 1 Regions 7 Counties 19


NUTS regions are generally based on existing national administrative subdivisions. In countries where only one or two regional subdivisions exist, or where the size of existing subdivisions is too small or too large, a second and/or third level is created. This may be on the first level (ex. France, Italy, Greece, and Spain), on the second (ex. Germany) and/or third level (ex. Belgium).[8] In smaller countries, where the entire country would be placed on the NUTS 2 or even NUTS 3 level (ex. Luxembourg, Cyprus), the regions at levels 1, 2 and 3 are identical to each other (and also to the entire country), but are coded with the appropriate length codes levels 1, 2 and 3.

The NUTS system favors existing administrative units, with one or more assigned to each NUTS level.

From the NUTS Regulation, the average population size of the regions in the respective level shall lie within the following thresholds:

Level Minimum Maximum
NUTS 1 3 million 7 million
NUTS 2 800,000 3 million
NUTS 3 150,000 800,000

For non-administrative units, deviations exist for particular geographical, socio-economic, historical, cultural or environmental circumstances, especially for islands and outermost regions.


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