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Generally, a local administrative unit (LAU) is a low level administrative division of a country, ranked below a province, region, or state. Not all countries describe their locally governed areas this way, but it can be descriptively applied anywhere to refer to counties, municipalities, etc.

In the European Union, LAUs are basic components of Classification of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) regions. For each EU member country, two levels of Local Administrative Units (LAU) are defined: LAU 1 and LAU 2, which were previously called NUTS 4 and NUTS 5 respectively, until the NUTS regulation went into force in July 2003. For some countries, the LAU 1 level is not defined, and thus equivalent to the NUTS 3 level. A similar statistical system is defined for the candidate countries and members of the European Free Trade Association.

Countries LAU 1 LAU 2
EU members 28 8772 120845
Austria AT — (same as NUTS 3: Groups of Districts, Bezirke) 35 Municipalities (Gemeinden) 2100
Belgium BE — (same as NUTS 3: Arrondissements; Verviers split into two) 44 Municipalities (gemeenten / communes) 589
Bulgaria BG Municipalities (общини, obshtini) 264 Settlements (населени Места, naseleni Mesta) 5329
Croatia HR — (same as NUTS 3: Counties, županije) 21 Municipalities (općine) 546
Cyprus CY Districts (επαρχίες, eparchies) 6 Municipalities, communities (δήμοι, κοινότητες, dimoi, koinotites) 613
Czech Republic CZ Districts (okresy) 77 Municipalities (obce) 6249
Germany DE Collective municipalities (Verwaltungs-gemeinschaften) 1457 Municipalities (Gemeinden) 12379
Denmark DK Municipalities (kommuner) 99 Parishes (sogne) 2148
Estonia EE Counties (maakond) 15 Municipalities (vald, linn) 227
Spain ES — (same as NUTS 3: Provinces + Islands + Ceuta and Melilla) 59 Municipalities (municipios) 8111
Finland FI Sub-regions (seutukunnat / ekonomiska regioner) 77 Municipalities (kunnat / kommuner) 416
France FR Cantons (cantons de rattachement) 3787 Communes 36683
Greece GR Municipalities/Communities (διμοι, κοινότητες, dimoi, koinotites) 1034 Municipal districts/Community districts (δημοτικό διαμέρισμα, κοινότικο διαμέρισμα, demotiko diamerisma, koinotiko diamerisma) 6130
Hungary HU Statistical sub-regions (statisztikai kistérségek) 174 Settlements (települések) 3152
Ireland IE Counties/Cities (contaetha, cathracha) 34 Electoral districts (toghroinn ceantair) 3441
Italy IT — (same as NUTS 3: Provinces, province) 107 Municipalities (comuni, municipi) 7978
Lithuania LT Municipalities (savivaldybės) 60 Elderships (seniūnijos) 518
Luxembourg LU Cantons (French: cantons, German: Kantone, Luxembourgish: Kantounen) 12 Communes (French: communes, German: Gemeinden, Luxembourgish: Gemengen) 102
Latvia LV Districts, republic cities (rajoni, republikas pilsētas) 33 Cities, municipalities, parishes (pilsētas, novadi, pagasti) 527
Malta MT Local councils (kunsilli)[1] 68 - -
Netherlands NL — (same as NUTS 3: COROP regions, COROP-gebieden) 40 Municipalities (gemeenten) 443
Poland PL Counties and city counties (powiaty i miasta na prawach powiatu) 379 Municipalities (gminy) 2478
Portugal PT Municipalities (concelhos, municípios) 308 Parishes (freguesias) 3091
Romania RO — (same as NUTS 3: Counties (județe) + Bucharest) 42 Communes + Municipalities + Cities (comune + municipii + orașe) 3174
Sweden SE — (same as NUTS 3: Counties, län) 21 Municipalities (kommuner) 290
Slovenia SI Administrative units (upravne enote) 58 Municipalities (občine) 211
Slovakia SK Districts (okresy) 79 Municipalities (obce) 2928
United Kingdom UK In England and Wales: districts or individual unitary authorities;
In Scotland: Individual unitary authorities or LECs;
In Northern Ireland: districts
443 Wards (or parts thereof) 10664
Candidate countries 4 1036 40786
Iceland IS Regions (landshlutar) 8 Municipalities (sveitarfélag) 79
Macedonia MK Municipalities (општини, opštini) 84 Settlements 1776
Montenegro ME Municipalities (општини, opštini) 21 Settlements 1256
Turkey TR Districts (ilçeler) 923 Municipalities (belediye) 37675
EFTA countries 3 257 3163
Liechtenstein LI Electoral districts (Wahlkreise) 2 Municipalities (Gemeinden) 11
Norway NO Economic regions 89 Municipalities (kommuner, kommunar) 431
Switzerland CH Districts (German: Bezirke, Ämter and Amtsbezirke; French: districts; Italian: distretti; Romansh: districts 166 Municipalities (German: Gemeinden, Einwohnergemeinden and politische Gemeinden; French: communes; Italian: comuni; Romansh: vischnancas) 2721

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Division of Powers, Malta –

External linksEdit