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Glossary:Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS)

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The Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics, abbreviated as NUTS (from the French Nomenclature des Unités territoriales statistiques) is a geographical nomenclature subdividing the territory of the European Union (EU) into regions at three different levels (NUTS 1, 2 and 3, respectively, moving from larger to smaller territorial units). Above NUTS 1 is the 'national' level of the Member State.

The NUTS classification in the European Union and corresponding statistical regions in candidate countries and EFTA countries

NUTS areas aim to provide a single and coherent territorial breakdown for the compilation of EU regional statistics. The current version of NUTS (2008) subdivides the territory of the European Union and its 28 Member States into 98 NUTS 1 regions, 272 NUTS 2 regions and 1315 NUTS 3 regions.

The NUTS is based on Regulation 1059/2003 on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics, approved in 2003 and amended in 2006 by Regulation 105/2007. Two further amending Regulations 1888/2005 and 176/2008, adopted in 2005 and 2008 respectively, extended the NUTS system to the 10 Member States that joined the EU in 2004 and to Bulgaria and Romania. The second regular amendment, Commission Regulation (EU) No 31/2011, was adopted by the Commission on 17 January 2011 and applicable from 1 January 2012.

Example

The first 10 items of the NUTS classification below (covering part of Belgium), show the codes and descriptors at different territorial levels.

  • BE BELGIQUE-BELGIË
  • BE1 RÉGION DE BRUXELLES-CAPITALE / BRUSSELS HOOFDSTEDELIJK GEWEST
  • BE10 Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest
  • BE100 Arrondissement de Bruxelles-Capitale / Arrondissement van Brussel-Hoofdstad
  • BE2 VLAAMS GEWEST
  • BE21 Province Antwerpen / Provincie Antwerpen
  • BE211 Arrondissement Antwerpen
  • BE212 Arrondissement Mechelen
  • BE213 Arrondissement Turnhout
  • BE22 Province Limburg (B) / Provincie Limburg (B)

Further information

Related concepts

Statistical data