The territorial typologies that have been developed by Eurostat can be split into three principal groups, covering grid-based typologies, local typologies based on LAUs (local administrative units) and regional typologies based on NUTS level 3 (the classification of territorial units for statistics).
Grid typologies: Eurostat collects population statistics based on 1 km² grid cells. These very detailed statistics are used to establish various cluster types — namely, urban centres, urban clusters and rural grid cells.
Local typologies: based on statistics for local administrative units (LAUs) which generally comprise municipalities or communes across the EU. Statistics for LAUs may be used to establish local typologies including the degree of urbanisation (cities; towns and suburbs; rural areas); functional urban areas (cities and their surrounding commuting zones); coastal areas (coastal and non-coastal areas).
Regional typologies: statistics that are grouped according to the classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS); they provide information at a relatively aggregated level of detail, with data presented for NUTS level 1, level 2 and level 3 regions respectively, detailing larger to smaller territorial units. Only the most detailed statistics at NUTS level 3 are used as building blocks to establish the urban-rural typology (predominantly urban regions, intermediate regions and predominantly rural regions), the metropolitan typology (metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions), the coastal typology (coastal and non-coastal regions), each of which has a legislative basis.