Demographic and Social Statistics


United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Statistical Methodology for Delineating Cities and Rural Areas
  • New York, United States of America
  • 28 - 30 January 2019

The meeting is organized by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)


In the context of the fact that, at the level of international official statistics and international statistical standards, there is a lack of harmonized and universally implemented definition of urban and rural areas in general, and the definitions of metropolitan, urban, semi-urban, rural and uninhabited areas in particular, several innovative approaches have been developed in recent years in an attempt to develop statistical methodology that could be generally used across world regions and that is based on identical parameters. The European Commission, in co-operation with several international organizations has developed such a methodology for a harmonized delineation of cities and rural areas. The purpose of the Expert Group Meeting is to discuss, in detail, the following points: (1) Assessing the technical comprehensiveness of the methodology as developed by European Commission and partners; (2) Assessing the applicability of the parameters for the delineation of urban and rural areas in terms of levels of density; (3) Assessing the employment of the methodology in national circumstances through the presentation and elaboration of national practices and examples; (4) Elaborating on the suitability of submitting the proposed methodology to the United Nations Statistical Commission for discussion and possible recommendation for the purpose of achieving regional and international comparison and harmonization of urban and rural areas and their statistics.

Main documents


Background documents

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