Common classification of territorial units for statistical purposes (NUTS)

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 establishing a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS)

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

KEY POINTS

The NUTS hierarchy

For each EU country, there is a 3-level hierarchy of regional subdivisions which are based on minimum and maximum population thresholds, as shown below.

The third level is a subdivision of the second level, the second level of the first level and the first level of the countries. The NUTS does not cover the local (municipality) level. Where the population of an EU country as a whole is below the minimum threshold for a given NUTS level, the country itself constitutes a NUTS territorial unit of that level.

Classification criteria

The existing administrative units in the EU countries have to be taken into account in the NUTS. The NUTS level to which an existing administrative level corresponds is determined on the basis of the average population size of its administrative units as follows:

Level

Minimum population

Maximum population

NUTS 1

3 million

7 million

NUTS 2

800,000

3 million

NUTS 3

150,000

800,000

If, for a given level in the classification, there is no existing administrative level of an adequate size in an EU country, that level is to be established by aggregating an adequate number of smaller neighbouring administrative units. The resulting aggregated units form a ‘non-administrative level’ at which each non-administrative unit has to respect the population thresholds above.

The current NUTS classification, valid from 1 January 2015, lists 98 regions at NUTS 1 level, 276 regions at NUTS 2 level and 1,342 regions at NUTS 3 level. Regulation (EU) No 1319/2013 provides the NUTS levels 1, 2 and 3 breakdown effective as of 1 January 2015.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 11 July 2003.

BACKGROUND

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) (OJ L 154, 21.6.2003, pp. 1-41)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 11/2008 of 8 January 2008 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) on the transmission of the time series for the new regional breakdown (OJ L 5, 9.1.2008, pp. 13-14)

Regulation (EU) No 99/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2013 on the European statistical programme 2013-17 (OJ L 39, 9.2.2013, pp. 12-29)

See consolidated version.

last update 04.11.2016