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Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS)

The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) was drawn up by the EU's statistical office (Eurostat) in order to provide a single uniform breakdown of territorial units for the production of regional statistics.

The territory of the EU is subdivided at 3 different geographical levels:

  • NUTS 1: major socio-economic regions with a population ranging from 3 to 7 million, e.g. German ‘Länder’, Polish ‘regiony’ and Romanian ‘macroregiuni’;
  • NUTS 2: basic regions generally used for the application of regional policies with a population ranging from 800,000 to 3 million, e.g. Belgian ‘provinc(i)es’, Danish ‘regioner’ and Czech ‘oblasti’;
  • NUTS 3: small regions for specific diagnoses with a population ranging from 150,000 to 800,000, e.g. Bulgarian ‘oblasti’ and Italian ‘provincie’.

Regions eligible for support under the EU's cohesion policy are defined at NUTS 2 level.

Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 formally established the NUTS in 2003. It includes rules for amendments to the classification. These amendments can only take place after at least 3 years have passed on the previous version to ensure a minimum of stability, which supports data collection, the design of policy programmes and their implementation.

Since 2003, the NUTS has been updated several times.