The NUTS-region are based on the existing national administrative subdivisions. In countries where only one or two regional subdivisions exist, or where the size of existing subdivisions is too small, a second and/or third level is created. This may be on the first level (ex. France, Italy, Greece, and Spain), on the second (ex. Germany) and/or third level (ex. Belgium). In smaller countries, where the entire country would be placed on the NUTS 2 or even NUTS 3 level (ex. Luxembourg, Cyprus, Ireland), levels 1, 2 and/or 3 are identical to the level above and/or to the entire country.
The thresholds in the table below are used as guidelines for establishing the regions, but they are not applied rigidly.
|NUTS 1||States||3 million||7 million|
|NUTS 2||Administrative regions within states||800.000||3 million|
|NUTS 3||Counties/districts and greater metropolitan areas||150.000||800.000|