PT1 Statistical cities (Portugal)

Delimitation of statistical city boundaries [Évora municipality]


Cities are driving forces of economic growth, competitiveness and employment, but are also places with serious environmental and social problems and, therefore, it is important to develop a consistent portrait on this geographical level in order to build up integrated territorial based policies.

The delimitation of the Portuguese statistical cities is the result of cooperation between Statistics Portugal and local authorities. The spatial delimitation allowed for data to become available for cities, at present mainly derived from Census data. In this context, and based on the 2011 Census final results, Statistics Portugal released more than 50 indicators for the 159 statistical Portuguese cities in its Statistical Database, regarding population, families, buildings and dwellings, allowing for a comparison of the Portuguese cities’ specificities within the national context.

Building on the knowledge from the delimitation there are plans of assessing the possibility of georeferencing establishments and enterprises in order to have an economical characterization base of cities.


The geographical delimitation of the 159 Portuguese cities made it possible to have a statistical portrait of cities within the national context. Cities represent an important territorial analytical unit and are of crucial importance for urban and regional planning policy making. The local authorities will largely benefit from the information derived for statistical cities for day-to-day management and decisionmaking regarding spatial and urban planning.

Linked to

UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. EUROPE 2020 flagship initiative “Inclusive growth – An agenda for new skills and jobs”.