Life and Death and NUTS


Usual administrative units are too heterogenous for regional statistics. To make regions comparable, territorial units of similar population size are required. For the European Union and further states being associated in some way or another the NUTS (Nomenclature des unit├ęs territoriales statistiques) classification has been developed in 1980 and is being updated triennially.

There are four NUTS levels 0,1,2 and 3. Every region is designated a code consisting of two to five characters. The first two characters denote the state (the usual ISO-3166 two letter code – Greece being an exception as it is referred to with EL instead of GR). The characters following it in case of NUTS 1,2 and 3 form a hierachical system. So for example DE21H (Munich) belongs to DE21 (Oberbayern) belongs DE2 (Bayern / Bavaria) belongs to DE (Germany).

Life and Death

To illustrate the different NUTS levels I downloaded the data for births and deaths (demo_r_births and demo_r_deaths) in the various NUTS regions from Eurostat and represented the ratio (births per deaths) using a color ranging from red to green.

Q-10% in the color scale below red for example means that the color is used for everything lower than than the displayed 10% quantile. Using a continuous color scale for visualization of these ratios has its handicaps but I think it does a good job of illustrating how the different NUTS units compare.

Turkey and its regions (also French Guyane – which is not shown on the map) are clearly leading the field in the births to deaths ratio. I have no idea why especially south west Turkey is yielding ratios of more than 9 births per deaths. If you have any idea on that you’re welcome to send me a mail or even better write a comment to this article. This is not the first time I am observing such extreme statistics for Turkey – I suspect that the data might be simply inaccurate.


Births per Deaths (NUTS 0)


Births per Deaths (NUTS 1)


Births per Deaths (NUTS 2)


Births per Deaths (NUTS 3)

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