Data - Land cover/use statistics

Information on data

Traditionally, ‘land’ has been a criterion for comparing statistics, for example agricultural statistics in different geographical areas. Statistics on land itself have rarely been gathered. Official statistics linked to land are therefore often spread among different statistical fields (agriculture, environment, forestry, etc.) and are not always well integrated with one another.

Eurostat now produces harmonised land cover/use statistics in addition to the traditional statistics linked to a particular land cover/use type. This harmonised information on land cover and land use is collected through the LUCAS survey, which is carried out directly by Eurostat. The specific land cover/use statistics are collected in cooperation with the Member States.

The most important specific land cover/use data collection activities concern agriculture (crop statistics and the Farm Structure Survey), forestry and the environment.


The Eurostat land cover/use database contains statistics down to NUTS 2 level and landscape indicators at national level.

How can I obtain this data?

This database and the LUCAS primary data (numerical variables) are available free of charge. They can be downloaded from this website by clicking on the relevant primary data year to the left. To obtain LUCAS photos, fill in the order form.

LUCAS soil data - 2009

The datasets for the LUCAS topsoil module include data from 19 969 samples, taken from 25 EU countries. Samples were analysed to determine:

  • the percentage of coarse fragments
  • particle size distribution (% clay, silt and sand content)
  • pH (in CaCl2 and H2O)
  • organic carbon (g/kg)
  • carbonate content (g/kg)
  • phosphorous content (mg/kg)
  • total nitrogen content (g/kg)
  • extractable potassium content (mg/kg)
  • cation exchange capacity (cmol(+)/kg).

Multispectral properties are available for most samples.

Register here to download the data free of charge.

Click here for more detailed information on the methodology, data and results of the LUCAS topsoil survey.