NUTS statistical regions of Portugal

The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) is developed by Eurostat, and employed in both Portugal and the entire European Union for statistical purposes. The NUTS branch extends from NUTS1, NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions, with the complementary LAU (Local Administrative Units) sub-categorization being used to differentiate the local areas, of trans-national importance.

Territorial map corresponding to the NUTS I and NUTS II designations

Developed by Eurostat and implemented in 1998, the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) regions, which comprises three levels of the Portuguese territory, are instrumental in European Union's Structural Fund delivery mechanisms.[1][2] The standard was developed by the European Union and extensively used by national governments, Eurostat and other EU bodies for statistical and policy matters.[3][4] Until 4 November 2002, the Sistema Estatístico Nacional (SEN) used a NUTS codification system that was distinct from the Eurostat system. With the enactment of Decree Law 244/2002 (5 November 2002), published in the Diário da República, this system was abandoned in order to harmonize the national system with that of Eurostat.

Subdivisions Edit

The NUTS system subdivides the nation into three levels: NUTS I, NUTS II and NUTS III. In some European partners, as is the case with Portugal, a complementary hierarchy, respectively LAU I and LAU II (posteriorly referred to as NUTS IV and NUTS V) is employed. The LAU, or Local Administrative Units, in the Portuguese context pertains to the 308 municipalities (LAU I) and 3092 civil parishes (LAU II) respectively. In the broadest sense, the NUTS hierarchy, while they may follow some of the borders (municipal or parish) diverge in their delineation.

Subdivision No. Description
NUTS 1: National 3 Continental Portugal, the Azores and Madeira
NUTS 2: Regions 7 Regional Coordination Commissions and Autonomous Regions
NUTS 3: Subregion 25 Administrative, Statistical and Autonomous Regions

Changes NUTS 2-3 (1986—2013) Edit


Territorial map corresponding to the NUTS I and NUTS II designations

The first and broadest subdivision of Portugal is between continental Portugal and the two autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.


Although the districts are still the most socially relevant subdivision, their function is being phased in favour of locally oriented regional units, and regions are growing in importance. Portugal is divided into five regions, administered by the Commissions for Coordination and Regional Development (Portuguese: Comissões de Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Regional) in continental Portugal, plus the two autonomous regions that are their own NUTS II regions.


Territorial map corresponding to the 23 statistical subregions of mainland Portugal (NUTS III) and the 2 autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores

The seven regions of Portugal are likewise subdivided into 25 subregions (Portuguese: subregiões) that, from 2015, represent the 2 metropolitan areas, the 21 intermunicipal communities and the 2 autonomous regions. Therefore, since the 2013 revision (enforced in 2015), the Portuguese subregions have a statutory and administrative relevance.[5]

The two autonomous regions (Portuguese: regiões autónomas) in the Atlantic, correspond to their own NUTS I, II and III categories.

NUTS Codes[6] Edit

Code NUTS 1 Code NUTS 2 Code NUTS 3
PT1 Continente PT11 Norte PT111 Alto Minho
PT112 Cávado
PT119 Ave
PT11A Área Metropolitana do Porto
PT11B Alto Tâmega
PT11C Tâmega e Sousa
PT11D Douro
PT11E Terras de Trás-os-Montes
PT15 Algarve PT150 Algarve
PT16 Centro PT16B Oeste
PT16D Região de Aveiro
PT16E Região de Coimbra
PT16F Região de Leiria
PT16G Viseu Dão-Lafões
PT16H Beira Baixa
PT16I Médio Tejo
PT16J Beiras e Serra da Estrela
PT17 Área Metropolitana de Lisboa PT170 Área Metropolitana de Lisboa
PT18 Alentejo PT181 Alentejo Litoral
PT184 Baixo Alentejo
PT185 Lezíria do Tejo
PT186 Alto Alentejo
PT187 Alentejo Central
PT2 Região Autónoma dos Açores PT20 Região Autónoma dos Açores PT200 Região Autónoma dos Açores
PT3 Região Autónoma da Madeira PT30 Região Autónoma da Madeira PT300 Região Autónoma da Madeira

LAUs Edit

The LAU1 designated municipalities of Portugal

Municipalities and civil parishes were at NUTS IV and V levels, but these nomenclature units have been abolished and substituted by LAUs: the municipality is classified as LAU 1, while the civil parish is LAU level 2. Below the NUTS levels, the two LAU (Local Administrative Unit) levels are:

Sudvision No. Description
LAU 1 308 Municipalities
LAU 2 3092 Civil Parishes

The LAU codes of Portugal can be downloaded at: Eurostat [dead link]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ The NUTS system was approved by Community Legislation in 1998, but only entered into function in 2003 through enacting regulations.
  2. ^ University of Coimbra (2010), p.2
  3. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística (Portuguese language) Archived 2007-03-16 at the Wayback Machine – Nomenclatura das Unidades Territoriais para fins Estatísticos 2002, accessed May 2006
  4. ^ de Informação Geográfica (Portuguese language)[permanent dead link] – Biblioteca de Mapas Administrativos, accessed May 2006
  5. ^ 2013 Apresentação INE NUTS (in Portuguese)

Sources Edit