Local administrative unit

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The hierarchy level of the Local Administrative Units ( LAU for short ; from the English local administrative unit for local administrative unit ) is a tool from Eurostat , the European Union's statistical office . They cover the entire economic area of ​​the EU member states. The aim is the clear identification and classification of the spatial reference units (→ administrative division ) of official statistics of the member states. This is intended to allow national data to be compared at European level. The data sorted in this way then serve, for example, as a basis for the implementation of European funding programs.

The LAUs are compatible with the NUTS hierarchy and form its basic units. The LAU level is below the NUTS 3 level, i.e. at the municipal level , which was previously NUTS 4 and NUTS 5. Up to 2017 there were two LAU levels (LAU 1 and LAU 2), since 2017 only one. Since the LAUs are frequently changed, Eurostat publishes an updated list towards the end of each year (→ Section Weblinks ). LAUs are suitable for the implementation of the typologies contained in TERCET at the local level, namely coastal areas and DEGURBA classification.


LAU 1 and LAU 2 (until 2017)

The two levels of local territorial units, LAU 1 and LAU 2, were called NUTS 4 and NUTS 5 respectively until the NUTS Regulation came into force in July 2003.

  • LAU 1 (formerly NUTS 4): Upper local administrative units - was defined in many, but not all, Member States and referred to mostly local administrative communities , sometimes municipalities.
  • LAU 2 (formerly NUTS 5): Municipalities or equivalent units (lower local administrative units) (municipalities and comparable units) - denoted almost all of the (political) municipalities , sometimes the subdivision below the municipality, corresponding to the Austrian locality (locality in the sense of - society for social structures, not "place, settlement")

In 2003 the EU states disagreed as to whether these additional levels were appropriate. Therefore they were renamed from NUTS to LAU. The European Commission then established in 2005 that NUTS primarily serves EU cohesion policy and that the NUTS 3 level would be sufficient for these purposes in the foreseeable future. Therefore they are listed as a complement to the NUTS system, which serves more statistical than political objectives.

National equivalents

  • For countries with German official language, the official German name is given; in other multilingual countries only one language variant (without non-Latin spelling; more common translations into German are given in brackets)
  • The second column shows the sorting according to members (EU) - Associated (EFTA) - Acceding countries (CC).
  • Urban forms are always named after
Status: January 1, 2015, AT / CH January 1, 2016 (see source below the table)
State (NUTS 0) LAU 1 Number LAU 2 Number
BE Belgium (EU) - 0 Communities 589
BG Bulgaria (EU) Obschtini (municipalities) 265 Naseleni mesta (localities, places) 5,259
DK Denmark (EU) Kommuner (municipalities) 99 Sogne (parishes) 2.143
DE Germany (EU) Administrative communities 1,268 Communities 11,086
EE Estonia (EU) Maakonnad (counties, districts) 15th Vallad, Linnad (municipalities, cities) 213
FI Finland (EU) Seutukunnat (administrative communities) 70 Kunnat (municipalities) 336
FR France (EU) Cantons de rattachement 3,785 Communes (municipalities) 36,680
Tbsp Greece (EU) Kinotites , Dimi ([rural] municipalities, cities, today: Dimotikes enotites , municipal districts) 326 Kinotika diamerismata , Dimotika diamerismata (today: Topika diamerismata , local administrations) 6.132
IE Ireland (EU) Counties , Cities (counties, cities) 34 Electoral districts (constituencies) 3,441
IT Italy (EU) - 0 Comuni (municipalities) 8.094
MR Croatia (EU) - 0 Općine and Gradovi ([rural] municipalities, cities) 556
LV Latvia (EU) - 0 Novadi , Republikas pilsētas (districts, republic cities ) 119
LT Lithuania (EU) Savivaldybės (municipalities, local governments) 60 Seniūnijos (administrative districts, offices, localities) 548
LU Luxembourg (EU) Cantons 12 Communities 105
MT Malta (EU) Distretti (districts) 6th Kunsilli (municipalities) 68
NL Netherlands (EU) - 0 Gemeenten (municipalities) 390
AT Austria (EU) - 0 Communities 2,098
PL Poland (EU) Powiaty (counties) and Miasta na prawach powiatu (towns with district rights) 380 Gminy (municipalities) 2,478
PT Portugal (EU) Concelhos - Municípios 308 Freguesias (municipalities) 3,092
RO Romania (EU) - 0 Comuni (municipalities) Municipii (municipalities) Orașe (municipalities) 3,181
SE Sweden (EU) - 0 Kommuner (municipalities) 290
SI Slovenia (EU) Upravne enote (administrative districts) 58 Občine (municipalities) 210
SK Slovakia (EU) Okresy (German inconsistent) 79 Obce (municipalities) 2,928
IT Spain (EU) - 0 Municipios (municipalities) 8,125
CZ Czech Republic (EU) Okresy (German inconsistent) 77 Obce (municipalities) 6.251
HU Hungary (EU) Statisztikai kistérségek ([Statistical] small areas) 174 Települései (localities) 3,154
UK United Kingdom (EU) Lower tier authorities ( districts ) ; individual unitary authorities ; LECs (or parts of them) 380 Wards (or parts of them) 10,310
CY Cyprus (EU) Eparchies (eparchies, districts) 6th Koinotites , Dimoi (urban, rural communities) 615
EU -28 (EU) 7,402 118.491
IS Iceland (EA) Landsvæði 8th Sveitarfélög (Municipalities) 79
LI Liechtenstein (EA) 2 Communities 11
NO Norway (EA) Økonomiske regioner 89 Kommuner (municipalities) 431
CH Switzerland (EA) Districts 166 Communities 2,294
EFTA-4 (EA) 265 2,815
AL Albania (CC) n / A - Bashki / Komunë 373
ME Montenegro (CC) Opštine (municipalities) 21st Naselja (localities, places) 1,256
MK North Macedonia (CC) Opštini (municipalities) 84 Naseleni mesta (localities) 1,776
RS Serbia (CC) n / A - n / A -
TR Turkey (CC) İlçeler (districts) 923 Köy (localities, villages) 37,675
CC -5 (CC) 1,028 41,080
EUROSTAT (37) 8,695 162,386

Sources: EUROSTAT: EU countries, EU candidates and EFTA countries (non-EU)


  1. Municipal associations below the district level, such as offices (BB, MV, SH), municipal administration associations (BW), integrated municipalities (NI), association municipalities ( RP , ST ), administrative associations (SN) and administrative communities ( BY , TH )
  2. or municipality-free area
  3. a b Eurostat gives here, in contrast to other entries, singular: Maakond and Vald, linn
  4. a b c In Germany and Austria are also historical reasons, the expressions county and district respectively occupied contrary, in Germany's government district to the district located in Austria, the historic district of the monarchy period over the political district ; the Swiss district roughly corresponds to the Austrian one.
  5. a b Seutukunnat literally "regional municipality"; Swedish 1:  Ekonomiska regioner ; 2:  Commune
  6. The term rattachement is the French word for cohesion in the sense of EU regional policy; largely corresponds to the 4,055 (political) cantons .
  7. a b The current Greek NUTS / LAU breakdown (official status 2010) only partially takes into account the administrative structural reform from 2010 ( Kallikratis program ): the new 326 municipalities have since been trading as Dimi (municipalities); Topika diamerismata (for example: local administrations) is the collective replacing term for Kinotika diamerismata (municipal districts, local communities) and Dimotika diamerismata (urban districts, districts); Parish districts now denote the superior Dimotikes enotites , which correspond to the old 1,035 parishes.
  8. In Ireland there are 3  cities in the rank of a county : Cork , Dublin , Galway
  9. ^ The republic cities correspond to the German district-free city , but they are direct from the state; the Novadi are divided into Centrs (main town), Pilsētas (cities) and Novadi pagasti ([rural] municipalities); the old structure was 1: 33  Rajoni , Republikas pilsētas (districts, republic cities ); 2: 527  Pilsētas , Novadi , Pagasti (cities, towns, rural communities)
  10. LAU 1: partly also Rajono savivaldybės ( Rajonsgemeinden , rural communities )
  11. LAU 1: Cantons ; 2: Communes
  12. [ Statistical ] Districts / Regions , there is also the expression Districts for constituencies and other things.
  13. The [ political ] districts correspond roughly to the LAU-1 concept, but are not a municipal level, but an institution at the state level, and statistically, on average, a little too big for LAU, but a little too small for NUTS: That's why they come as such in the NUTS classification does not exist. NUTS-3 are the groups of districts , such as the districts of Lower and Upper Austria, or the districts of Salzburg, which, however, represent districts.
  14. Special forms of the municipality (then specifically called rural municipality ): market municipality , city ​​municipality (with special form statutory town )
  15. Adequate originally the Austrian statutory city , city with rank of Judet (NUTS 3); today - with the exception of Bucharest - that no longer applies.
  16. including Mestá (cities, municipalities)
  17. including Města (towns, municipalities), Statutární města (Statutarstädte), u. a.
  18. The lower tier authorities are billing authorities for council tax ; the Unitary Authorities , called Council areas in Scotland , are the British local government areas; Local enterprise companies  (LEC) are specifically Scottish community associations.
  19. also: Landsvædi
  20. a b LAU 1: in some cantons also administrative regions, administrative districts, constituencies, offices, offices , French districts / ital. Disretti ; 2: Communes / Comuni
  21. also: Ilceler
  22. The special form of large municipalities, the Belediyeler and the Büyükşehir Belediyesinin , do not form a NUTS level.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the expediency of enacting Europe-wide provisions for the creation of further levels of structure in the NUTS classification , COM / 2005/0473 final.
  2. Current list (November 2018): Correspondence tables - national breakdowns (EU-28) . ec.europa.eu/eurostat.
  3. Obsolete list (still with two LAU levels, January 2015): Correspondence tables - national classifications (not EU) . ec.europa.eu/eurostat.