Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics

Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics

The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics[1][2] or Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics[3][4][5][6] (NUTS,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] after the French nomenclature d'unités territoriales statistiques[citation needed]) is a geocode standard for referencing the subdivisions of countries for statistical purposes. The standard is developed and regulated by the European Union, and thus only covers the member states of the EU in detail. The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics is instrumental in European Union's Structural Fund delivery mechanisms.

For each EU member country, a hierarchy of three NUTS levels is established by Eurostat; 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). 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. In case 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 2008 until 31 December 2011 lists 97 regions at NUTS 1, 271 regions at NUTS 2 and 1303 regions at NUTS 3 level.[11]

In addition to the full three levels for the European Union countries, all other countries have a NUTS code with a two-letter code for a continent and two numbers for the country, and for the USA, Canada and Australia the states, provinces, and territories are numbered separately. There are some anomalies: for example, Gibraltar is listed as being outside the EU with the code EO21; while French Guiana is listed twice, once in France as FR930 and once in South America as AS13. NUTS is thus in some extent similar to the ISO 3166-2 standard, as well as the FIPS 10-4 standard of the United States.




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 27 97 271 1303
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 Oblasts 8 Regions 14
Germany DE States 16 Government regions (or equivalent) 39 Districts 429
Denmark DK 1 Regions 5 Lands 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 26 Departments + DOM 100
Greece GR Groups of development regions 4 Peripheries 13 Prefectures 51
Hungary HU Statistical large regions 3 Planning and statistical regions 7 Counties + Budapest 20
Ireland IE 1 Regional Assemblies 2 Regional Authorities 8
Italy IT Groups of regions 5 Regions (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol split into two) 21 Provinces 107
Lithuania LT 1 1 Counties 10
Luxembourg LU 1 1 1
Latvia LV 1 1 Regions (+ Riga) 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 and Madeira) 3 Regional Coordination Commissions + 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 Counties (some grouped); Inner and Outer London 30 Upper tier authorities or groups of lower tier authorities (unitary authorities or districts) 93
Wales 1 Groups of unitary authorities 2 Groups of unitary authorities 12
Scotland 1 Groups of unitary authorities or districts 4 Groups of unitary authorities or districts 23
Northern Ireland 1 1 Groups of districts 5
Candidate countries 5 16 32 113
Croatia HR 1 Regions 3 Counties 21
Iceland IS 1 1 Capital area / Rest of country 2
Macedonia MK 1 1 Statistical regions 8
Montenegro ME 1 1 1
Turkey TR Regions 12 Sub-regions 26 Provinces 81
EFTA countries 3 3 15 46
Liechtenstein LI 1 1 1
Norway NO 1 Regions 7 Counties 19
Switzerland CH 1 Regions 7 Cantons 26


The NUTS-region are based on the existing national administrative subdivisions. In countries where only one or two regional subdivisions exist, or where the size of existing subdivisions is too small, 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).[12] In smaller countries, where the entire country would be placed on the NUTS 2 or even NUTS 3 level (ex. Luxembourg, Cyprus, Ireland), levels 1, 2 and/or 3 are identical to the level above and/or to the entire country.

The thresholds in the table below are used as guidelines for establishing the regions, but they are not applied rigidly. For example, both Cornwall, population 531,600 in 2007, and Lombardy, with a population of nearly ten million, are NUTS 2 regions.

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


See also


  1. ^ a b Ramon
  2. ^ a b European Commission wiki
  3. ^ a b MAGIC (a GIS project of DEFRA, English Heritage, Natural England, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Department for Communities and Local Government)
  4. ^ a b Office for National Statistics
  5. ^ a b Hansard, written proceedings of the UK Parliament
  6. ^ a b Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  7. ^ Regulation (EC) No 176/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008
  8. ^ Regulation (EC) No 1888/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005
  9. ^ Commission Regulation (EC) No 105/2007 of 1 February 2007
  10. ^ Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003
  11. ^ Official Eurostat website: Introduction.]
  12. ^ Europa - Eurostat - Regions - Basic principles of the NUTS

External links

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