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 European Commission > Eurostat > NUTS - Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics > History of NUTS

History of NUTS

At the beginning of the 1970s, Eurostat set up the NUTS classification as a single, coherent system for dividing up the EU's territory in order to produce regional statistics for the Community. For around thirty years, implementation and updating of the NUTS classification was managed under a series of "gentlemen's agreements" between the Member States and Eurostat.

Work on the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003, to give NUTS a legal status started in spring 2000. This was adopted in May 2003 and entered into force in July 2003.

The regulation also specifies stability of the classification for at least three years. Stability makes sure that data refers to the same regional unit for a certain period of time. This is crucial for statistics, in particular for time-series.

However, sometimes national interests require changing the regional breakdown of a country. When this happens the county concerned informs the European Commission about the changes. The Commission in turn amends the classification at the end of period of stability according the rules of the NUTS Regulation.

A first regular amendment, Commission Regulation (EC) No 105/2007, was the replacement of the NUTS version 2003 by the version 2006 on 1 January 2008. This was preceded by completions of the NUTS classification with the regional breakdowns of the countries that have joined the EU in 2004 and 2008: Commission Regulation (EC) No 1888/2005 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 176/2008.

The second regular amendment, Commission Regulation (EU) No 31/2011, has been adopted by the Commission and will be applicable from 1 January 2012.

NUTS versions: Download the lists of changes between the various NUTS versions:

NUTS 2010 - NUTS 2013
NUTS 2006 - NUTS 2010
NUTS 2003 - NUTS 2006
NUTS 1999 - NUTS 2003
NUTS 1995 - NUTS 1999

In case of an amendment to the classification, the Member State concerned has to replace historical data by time series according to the new regional breakdown within two years. The decision on the list of the time series and their lengths is subject to feasibility evaluation.

Maps showing the changes between NUTS 2006 and NUTS 2010 versions:





















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Last update 24.06.2013