Methodology Methodology

Urban-Rural Typology

Urban-rural typology statistics use the new urban-rural typology. This typology uses a three-step approach to classify the NUTS level 3 regions.

Definition of rural area

The first step is to identify populations in rural areas: 'rural areas' are all areas outside urban clusters. 'Urban clusters' are clusters of contiguous¹ grid cells of 1 km² with a density of at least 300 inhabitants per km² and a minimum population of 5 000.

Classification of the regions

In the second step, NUTS 3 regions are classified as follows, on the basis of the share of their population in rural areas:

  • 'Predominantly rural' if the share of the population living in rural areas is higher than 50
  • 'Intermediate' if the share of the population living in rural areas is between 20 and 50
  • 'Predominantly urban' if the share of the population living in rural areas is below 20

To resolve the distortion created by extremely small NUTS 3 regions, for classification purposes regions smaller than 500 km² are combined with one or more of their neighbours.

Presence of city

In a third step, the size of the urban centres in the region is considered.

A predominantly rural region which contains an urban centre of more than 200 000 inhabitants making up at least 25% of the regional population becomes intermediate.

An intermediate region which contains an urban centre of more than 500 000 inhabitants making up at least 25% of the regional population becomes predominantly urban.

 

 

 

 


1Contiguity for urban clusters includes the diagonals (i.e. cells with only the corners touching). Gaps in the urban cluster are not filled (i.e. cells surrounded by urban cells).