methods, notes and classification Household characteristics by urbanisation degree methods, notes and classification

Degree of urbanisation

The Degree of urbanisation (DEGURBA) is a classification that indicates the character of an area.

Based on the share of local population living in urban clusters and in urban centres, it classifies Local Administrative Units level 2 (LAU2 or communes) into three types of area:

* Thinly populated area (rural area)  
* Intermediate density area (towns and suburbs/small urban area)  
* Densely populated area (cities/large urban area)  

Statistics by Degree of urbanisation provide an analytical and descriptive lens on densely and thinly populated areas.

Data by Degree of urbanisation is presently available for the following statistical domains: - labour market, - education and - living conditions, welfare and tourism.


In 2011, the Commission Directorates General REGIO (Regional Statistics) and AGRI (Agriculture), Eurostat and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) together with the OECD revised the Degree of urbanisation classification (DEGURBA) and prepared a common methodology, to be used by the entire Commission as well as the OECD.

The methodology classifies Local Administrative Units level 2 (LAU2 or communes) based on a combination of criteria of geographical contiguity and minimum population threshold applied to 1 km2 population grid cells.

This approach, based on mapping the territory by a grid square cell of 1 km2, avoids distortions caused by using LAU2 varying in size and/or shape.

This Degree of urbanisation creates a three-way classification of LAU2 as follows:

* Thinly populated area (alternate name: rural area)  

    * More than 50% of the population lives in rural grid cells  

* Intermediate density area (alternate name: towns and suburbs or small urban areas)   

    * Less than 50% of the population lives in rural grid cells and  

    * Less than 50% of the population lives in high-density clusters  

* Densely populated area (alternate name: cities or large urban area). 

    * At least 50% of the population lives in high-density clusters  
    • Household characteristics
      • 0 Percentage of households in the population
      • 1 Number of households in the sample
      • 2 Average number of persons in the household
      • 3 Average number of adult equivalents in the household
    • Degree of urbanisation
      • 0 Total
      • 1 Cities
      • 2 Towns and suburbs
      • 3 Rural areas
      • 4 Unknown
    • Geopolitical entity (reporting)
      • 00 European Union (current composition)
      • 01 European Union (before the accession of Croatia)
      • 02 European Union (25 countries)
      • 03 European Union (15 countries)
      • 04 Euro area (EA11-2000, EA12-2006, EA13-2007, EA15-2008, EA16-2010, EA17-2013, EA18-2014, EA19)
      • 05 Euro area (18 countries)
      • 06 Euro area (17 countries)
      • 07 Euro area (13 countries)
      • 08 Euro area (12 countries)
      • 09 Belgium
      • 0a Bulgaria
      • 0b Czech Republic
      • 0c Denmark
      • 0d Germany (until 1990 former territory of the FRG)
      • 0e Estonia
      • 0f Ireland
      • 0g Greece
      • 0h Spain
      • 0i France
      • 0j Croatia
      • 0k Italy
      • 0l Cyprus
      • 0m Latvia
      • 0n Lithuania
      • 0o Luxembourg
      • 0p Hungary
      • 0q Malta
      • 0r Netherlands
      • 0s Austria
      • 0t Poland
      • 0u Portugal
      • 0v Romania
      • 0w Slovenia
      • 0x Slovakia
      • 0y Finland
      • 0z Sweden
      • 10 United Kingdom
      • 11 European Economic Area (EU27 - before the accession of Croatia, plus IS, LI, NO)
      • 12 European Economic Area (EU25 plus IS, LI, NO)
      • 13 European Free Trade Association
      • 14 Norway