Regions have been classified into predominantly urban, intermediate and predominantly rural regions to take into account geographical differences among them. This geographical typology is the so-called urban-rural typology.
The typology is applied to NUTS level 3 regions of the European Union (EU) to Statistical Regions level 3 of the EFTA and Candidate countries; A similar typology is applied by the OECD to Territorial Level 3 (TL3) regions of its member countries.
It is a based on the share of the regional population living in rural grid cells (in other words the rural population) and urban clusters. Based on the share of the rural population the regions are then classified into the following three groups:
- predominantly urban region: the rural population accounts for less than 20 % of the total population;
- intermediate region: the rural population accounts for a share between 20 % and 50 % of the total population;
- predominantly rural region: the rural population accounts for 50 % or more of the total population.
In a final step, the size of any cities within the region is also considered.
- A region which had been classified as predominantly rural by the above criteria becomes an intermediate region if it contains a city of more than 200 000 inhabitants representing at least 25 % of the regional population.
- A region which had been classified as intermediate by the above criteria becomes a predominantly urban region if it contains a city of more than 500 000 inhabitants representing at least 25 % of the regional population.
- Degree of urbanisation
- Predominantly urban region, Intermediate region and Predominantly rural region