The NUTS-classification is a hierarchical structure of regions within the EU (and candidate countries) that aggregates national administrative areas to allow a European-wide comparison of similar regions and harmonize statistical values across the EU. The classification knows NUTS-3 (e.g., districts in Germany), NUTS-2 (e.g., different regions like counties in Germany), NUTS-1 (e.g., federal states in Germany) and NUTS-0 (e.g., Germany itself).
Unique identifiers per region, that inherit its respective parent classes’ identifier, are assigned to each region. E.g., the NUTS-3-region DE212 (Munich City) is part of the NUTS-2-region DE21 (Upper Bavaria), which in turn is part of the NUTS-1-region DE2 (Bavaria). The latter is again part of the NUTS-0-region DE (Germany).
NUTS-data are used in many FfE-projects, if statistical values need to have a spatial reference. Eurostat provides NUTS geodata, but only allows free and open usage for non-commercial purposes. At FfE, NUTS geodata is recreated for each official update from free and open geodata from OpenStreetMap (OSM) and provided as open data itself. The NUTS-2013 version has been recreated and published by FfE during the research project eXtremOS. The here presented geo-datasets of NUTS-3-regions for 2016 and 2021 have been recreated during the research project TransHyDE-Sys and are also free to use.
Methodologically, administrative areas from OSM are aggregated to cover Eurostat’s official NUTS-regions. In cases where there are no matching administrative areas in OSM, NUTS-borders are drawn by hand in QGIS. All datasets are topologically corrected in a post-processing step using a hexagon approach. However, no comprehensive topological correctness across all NUTS-borders can be guaranteed, since OSM data is crowd-sourced and updated by non-professional users. Feel free to download and use the NUTS-geodata from this site. We encourage feedback on data errors via firstname.lastname@example.org.