City statistics (urb)

National Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Statistisches Bundesamt

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Statistisches Bundesamt

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Vertragspartner und Organisierende Stelle

1.5. Contact mail address

c/o Statistisches Bundesamt
Referat B101
Statistisches Bundesamt
Gustav-Stresemann-Ring 11
65189 Wiesbaden

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 11/08/2022
2.2. Metadata last posted 11/08/2022
2.3. Metadata last update 11/08/2022

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Data on European cities were collected in the City Statistics, the Urban Audit, and in the Large City Audit project. The projects' ultimate goal is to contribute towards the improvement of the quality of urban life: it supports the exchange of experience among European cities; it helps to identify best practices; it facilitates benchmarking at the European level and provides information on the dynamics within the cities and with their surroundings.

For information on the data disseminated by Eurostat please refer to the city statistics reference metadata. The data collection provides information and comparable measurements on the different aspects of the quality of urban life in cities.

Availability of data see annex 1; description of the data see annex 2a.

Annex 1 - Availabilty
Annex 2a - Description of the data
3.2. Classification system

Specific classification and coding systems have been developed for the spatial units and for the variables and indicators. For the description of the coding system and the list of indicators and variables see the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The indicators and variables cover several aspects of quality of life, for e.g. demography, housing, health, crime, labour market, income disparity, educational qualifications, environment, climate, travel patterns and cultural infrastructure.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

For most variables the definitons of the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics for existing international standards have been followed. In case of deviating definitions, information is provided in annex 2a.

3.5. Statistical unit

Statistical units are mostly persons. Few variables are collected on households, enterprises, dwellings, cities, etc. For the complete description of variables see the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics.

3.6. Statistical population

For most variables the target statistical universe is the usual residents of a geographical area (City and Functional Urban Area). For the detailed description of variables see the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics.

3.7. Reference area

Spatial Units are listed in the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The data collection is organized in data collection rounds. The current data collection covers the years 2021 and 2022.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

The units of measures used for the data set are listed in the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics. For most indicators the unit of measures are number of persons or percentage.

5. Reference Period Top

2011, 2008, 2004 and 2001 are the reference years for the main data collection. 1996 and 1991 were the the reference years for the "historical" data collection. Fewer variables were requested on annual bases for the period 2005-2022.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

All data supply of urban statistics is based on a voluntary agreement, as there is no Community legislation on this topic.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Not applicable.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. Release policy - user access

Not applicable.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

The data is updated when available. The database is updated accordingly depending on the data availability of new and revised data.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

There are no press releases for the German Urban Audit. News is reported on the website KOSIS-Gemeinschaft Urban Audit

Participating cities are additionally informed via an electronic newsletter which is send out about four times a year.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Publications using City Statistics data are listed on the website KOSIS-Gemeinschaft Urban Audit

  • In 2013 KOSIS-Gemeinschaft Urban Audit released a brochure summing up organisational feautures, historic background an state of play of Urban Audit in Germany.
  • In 2015 another brochure was released, focusing on the added value of the data collection for national and international comparisons. It also includes a chapter on the Urban Audit Sub-city level.
  • In 2016 a brochure on the estimations from the German micro census was released, documenting the method as well as showing the added value of the data.
  • In 2017 a brochure on comparing urban audit cities with their commuting zones regarding different indicators of quality of life has been published. It also contains an article on testing the usage of OpenStreetMap data for measuring the length of cycle networks in Urban Audit cities. The findings described in this article provided the basis for the decision to switch the data source for Variable "TT1079V - Length of bicycle network" to standardized calculations on the basis of OpenStreetMap data.
  • In 2019 a brochure on the exploration of new data sources for collecting and monitoring urban quality of life has been published. The use of Big Data and Crowd Data in urban development planning is presented by means of exemplary model projects from the Urban Audit data collection or various cities. A typification into user-generated, transaction-generated and sensor-generated data is given. Further main topics of the brochure are mobility and transport. First results of the coordinated survey on quality of life in German cities 2018 are also presented in the brochure.
  • The focus of the Urban Audit brochure 2021 is on a successful project of the Statistical Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT) and the German City Statistics – the survey on the quality of life in cities. Other main topics of the brochure are innovations in data collection such as the redrawing of the Functional Urban Areas, new variables requested by the EU on external and internal migration, as well as the revision of the Urban Audit Structural Data Atlas.

All brochures are available in English and German (exception: brochure on the estimations is available in German only). Printed copies can be ordered free of charge (

Das deutsche Urban Audit - Städtevergleich im Europäischen Statistischen System (2013)
The German Urban Audit - Comparison of cities in the European Statistical System (2013)
Das deutsche Urban Audit. Daten – Indikatoren – Informationen (2015)
The German Urban Audit. Data – indicators – information (2015)
Regionalisierung des Mikrozensus für den europäischen Städtevergleich (2016)
Das deutsche Urban Audit. Lebensqualität in Stadt und Umland (2017)
The German Urban Audit. Quality of Life in the City and Suburban Areas (2017)
Das deutsche Urban Audit. Lebensqualität: Erschließung neuer Datenquellen (2019)
The German Urban Audit. Quality of Life: Establishing New Data Sources (2019)
The German Urban Audit - Subjective Assessments of the Quality of Life in European Cities
Das deutsche Urban Audit - Subjektive Einschätzung zur Lebensqualität in europäischen Städten
10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Data for German spatial units is available in the Urban Audit-Informationsportal.

Selected indicators for the city and FUA can be visualized using the Urban Audit Structural Data Atlas.

Data from the German and European Survey on Quality of Life in Cities can be displayed using the Urban Audit Perception Survey Atlas.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The definitons of the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics have been followed. In cases of deviating methodologies, annex 2a informs on the methodology applied:

  • For data from official regional statistics see methodologies under
  • for data from the Micro-Census, estimations by the cities are based on smoothed time series of >5 years of NUTS3 data.

The quality assurance procedures detailed in the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics have been applied.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

The quality assurance procedures detailed in the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics have been applied.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

In addition to the general procedures in official statistics, arranging the collected City Statistics data in time-series helps to ensure their plausibility and comparability.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The data originating from official regional statistics undergo the detailed quality management procedures of the federal and state statistical offices, similarly the data from other official sources. Quality management of the NGOs, like those of the cultural institutions are not regulated and not so well documented, although they are controlled by their members. All data compiled are checked by the NUAC's office and again by the EDIT-tool provided by Eurostat. It is an important feature of the City Statistics that all data are harmonised to comply with the prescribed definitions as published in the Eurostat Methodological Handbook on city statistics.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

User needs and stakeholder requirements are collected at several forums.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

User needs and stakeholder requirements are collected at several forums. Comments and contributions are welcome to be sent to the contact.

12.3. Completeness

Overview of data availability is provided in annex 1. For missing variables see annex 4.

Annex 4 - Missing data

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Data quality is generally good.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Depends on the domain and individual variable. As a general rule, timeliness is about 24 months.

14.2. Punctuality

Data provision follows the timetable of the project, with a time lag of 1 - 2 years.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Due to the sometimes deviating definitions and different data sources used the comparability of data is limited to some extent. Detailed information on data sources and deviating definitions is available in the annex 2a.

The implementation of a fully comparable definition of cities at European level has improved the comparability.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Breaks in the time series are flagged accordingly (flag B).

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Data collected at sub-national level is coherent with the data collected at national level to a limited extent due to the different data sources used. Most data for cities and FUAs originate from official statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Internal coherence (e.g. between spatial levels, between indicators like total, male, female population) is ensured through the application of multivariable and univariable validation controls.

16. Cost and Burden Top

The data collection is mostly based on administrative data so the main burden is on the Statistical Institutes.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Not applicable.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Not applicable.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Data are collected from more than 10 different sources as described in the meta data annex 2a. The main sources are:

  • data collected from the cities via internet
  • regional statistics of the federal and the state statistical institutes
  • special data collection by DESTATIS from state statistical institutes
  • estimations based on the official micro-census
  • estimations based on statistics of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), micro-census and official statistics of civil servants
  • crime statistics of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA)
  • statistics by the federal register of motor vehicles (KBA)
  • data extracted from OpenStreetMap
  • cultural statistics by the research institutes of cultural organisations

Annex 2a - Description of the data
18.2. Frequency of data collection

The Urban Audit is a multiannual data collection.
The reference period of the current data collection is 2021/2022.
The reference year of the exhaustive data collection is 2011. The reference years of the annual data collection are 2021 and 2022.

18.3. Data collection

Data is collected in the case of Germany by the NSI DESTATIS (coordinator) and a commissioned sub-contractor. It follows the guidelines of the Eurostat Methodological manual on city statistics.

18.4. Data validation

Data validation of official regional statistics is conducted as described by DESTATIS on their website. It makes plausibility checks by comparisons over time, aggregating subdivisions of variables and comparing indicators between territorial units. In addition the EDIT-tool with extensive validation procedures provided by Eurostat is used.

18.5. Data compilation

Data from the national Micro-Census are broken down to the level of NUTS3 and LAU by estimations based on time series of > 5 years and fitted to key values of official regional statistics. Labour market and employment data are estimated on the basis of statistics of the Federal Employment Agency adjusted to Micro-Census results for the Federal States.

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.

19. Comment Top

Not applicable.

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top