ARCHIVE: Veterinary surveillance: Geographical units of Great Britain as used by RADAR – a brief overview
There are a number of different geographic unit types which are used to divide areas into discrete regions. For example in Great Britain, countries, counties, NUTS regions, Animal Health Divisional offices (AHDO), wards or postal districts are often used. Unfortunately the boundaries of these different geographic unit types change over time and rarely fully align. The purpose of this section of our website is to give an overview of the different systems Defra uses for classifying GB data.
The number, names and boundaries of the counties of Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales) have changed significantly over time. For example there were considerable boundary changes in 1965, 1974 and 1995. As such NUTS regions (Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics), which are adjusted less frequently, are preferentially used. The most recent county/administrative boundaries change and that which is routinely use came onto force in 1995; this contains counties, unitary authorities, metropolitan districts and the Greater London Authority.
The relationship between the counties/administrative boundaries of 1995 and NUTS 1 regions of GB is shown in Figure 1.
- Figure 1: Map of the NUTS 1 regions of GB showing the counties/administrative boundaries of 1995 (PDF 1.35 MB)
The preferred geographical units are NUTS (Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics) regions. This system was created by the European Office for Statistics as a single hierarchical classification which divide regions into geographical sub-groups. The purpose of this classification was to produce spatial units for the production of statistics across the European union. Individual Member States of the European Union represent the top level of the hierarchy, below which are three levels of NUTS regions from 1 to 3. Within NUTS region, 3 the smallest, the regions are further subdivided into Local Administrative Unit (LAU) levels 1 and 2. The LAU levels 1 and 2 were introduced in 2003 to replace NUTS levels 4 and 5 respectively, therefore before 2003 there were 5 NUTS classifications. Thus NUTS 5 or LAU level 2 represents the lowest level of area aggregation. Information for NUTS 1, 2 and 3 regions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Summary table to show the number of regions and descriptions thereof for NUTS 1, 2 and 3 in GB (England, Scotland and Wales)
|NUTS level||England||Scotland||Wales||Total in GB|
|1||Government Office Regions (GORs)||Scotland||Wales||11|
|2||Counties/groups of counties||Combinations of council areas, Local Enterprise companies (LECs) and parts thereof||Groups of unitary authorities||37|
|3||Counties / groups of unitary authorities||Combinations of council areas, LECs and parts thereof||Groups of unitary authorities||128|
NUTS 2 and NUTS 3 regions in GB are shown in figures 2 and 3 respectively:
Animal Health Divisional Offices
The State Veterinary Service (SVS) is responsible for the implementation of government policy relating to animal health and welfare in GB. It divides GB into 24 Animal Health Divisional Office (AHDO) regions, as shown in Figure 4. There are 16 ADHOs in England, 5 in Scotland and 3 in Wales. Further information about the SVS and AHDOs can be found on the Animal Health website.
- Figure 4: Animal Health TOM regions (PDF 1.18 MB)
- Geography and National Statistics
- Ordnance Survey
- Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics - NUTS - Statistical Regions of Europe
Page last modified: 23 September 2009