Administrative boundaries - EuroBoundaryMap

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The text on this page is taken from an equivalent page of the IEHIAS-project.

Administrative Boundaries at NUTS 1-3, LAU 1-2

Population data are usually reported on the basis of administrative areas – typically, census tracts or aggregations of them. The ways in which these are defined varies considerably from country-to-country, but at the European level a standard hierarchy of administrative regions has been established in an attempt to harmonise reporting of socio-economic and other data. This is known as the NUTS ((Nationales Unites Territoriales Statistiques) system, and provides the basis for most population and related data available across the EU.

The NUTS system is a hierarchical classification that subdivides the Member States into three levels. NUTS levels 1 to 3 represent the country, province/state and county/department areas, respectively. Beneath these levels most countries have two more levels called local administrative units. LAU 1 equates to the UK districts, while LAU 2 represent the smallest set of administrative regions for which data are consistently available. LAU2 units are represented, for example, by wards in Great Britain, communes in France and municipalities in Finland.

Datainfo on the administrative boundaries for these regions is currently provided as EuroBoundaryMap (formally known as SABE – Seamless Administrative Boundaries of Europe). This is a pan-European reference dataset of administrative boundaries and units. It is compiled from data supplied by the European National Mapping and Cadastral Agencies and is harmonised in a single georeferenced database.

Source / Reference:

EuroBoundaryMap 1:1,000,000 (January 2006 release) was used in modelling the high resolution population grids. Newer versions of EuroBoundaryMap are now available (see link below).


Click link below for further details about the latest version of EuroBoundaryMap, including information about data license and cost.

See also:

More information about the NUTS (Nationales Unites Territoriales Statistiques) system is available on the Eurostat website:

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