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Definition: Administrative regions

Geographic Information Systems

Administrative regions are the territorial units which a country is divided in. There is normally an administration with some government functions and powers connected to administrative regions. The jurisdiction of an administrative area normally covers the total area inside its borders. In some countries parts of the sea are also included in administrative regions.

In Germany, some forests and other areas are excluded from the territorial subdivision in communes. These areas are referred to as "Gemeindefreie Gebiete". Other countries do not normally have this special kind of areas outside the administrative areas, even though Spanish condominiums (areas shared between two communes) may be regarded as exceptions from the norm.
Regions - Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics - NUTS, 1999 Edition Eurostat, "Empfehlungen zur Festlegung eines einheitlichen Verfahrens für die Berechnung der Fläche von Gebietseinheiten - Ausgabe 1999; Recommendations for a harmonised definition of calculation of surface area of territorial units, 1999 edition; Recommandations pour une définition harmonisée du calcul de la superficie des unités territoriales - Édition 1999", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1999, p.17