Regional development

Regional Statistics and Indicators


The OECD has developed two statistical databases to answer the increasing demand for statistical information at the regional level:


  • The OECD Regional Database provides a unique set of comparable statistics and indicators on about 2 000 regions in 36 OECD countries, plus China, Colombia, India, Peru, the Russian Federation, South Africa and Tunisia.  It currently encompasses yearly time series for around 40 indicators of demography, economic accounts, labour market, social and innovation themes in the OECD member countries and other economies.
  • The OECD Metropolitan Database provides a set of economic, environmental, social, labour market and demographic estimated indicators on the 281 OECD metropolitan areas (functional urban areas with 500 000 or more inhabitants).




Use the web-tools OECD eXplorer and Metro eXplorer to compare demographic trends, economic, social and environmental performance of regions and metropolitan areas in OECD countries and to view interactive maps and other visual presentations of the regional database and the metropolitan database




Regional well-being logo, 04/2014



The OECD Regional Well-being web tool allows you to measure well-being in your region and compare it with 395 other OECD regions based on nine topics central to the quality of our lives. 

Regions in OECD member countries (PDF 4.7MB) have been classified according to two territorial levels (TL) to facilitate international comparability. The higher level (Territorial Level 2) consists of macro-regions, while the lower level (Territorial Level 3) is composed of micro-regions. In addition, OECD small regions (Territorial Level 3) are classified according to their geography and remoteness into predominantly urban, intermediate, predominantly rural close to a city and predominantly remote rural regions (OECD Regional Typology).  




OECD Regions and Cities at a Glance 2018

This report looks at how regions and cities across the OECD are progressing towards stronger economies, higher quality of life for their citizens and more inclusive societies. This edition presents regional and metropolitan updates for more than 40 indicators to assess disparities within countries and their evolution since the turn of the new millennium. The report covers all OECD countries and, where data is available, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Lithuania, Peru, the Russian Federation, Tunisia and South Africa. More about the report...

The OECD Regions  and Cities at a Glance series compares major regional patterns and trends across OECD countries and diffuses the statistical tools elaborated by the Working Party on Territorial Indicators for the analysis of regional economies.

Previous editions:  2005 Edition 2007 Edition | 2009 Edition | 2011 Edition |  2013 Edition | 2016 Edition


The ful list of publications on Regional Development is available here.






Regions at a Glance interactive unlocks the wealth of regional information behind this book to help you better see, use and share the range of data and findings that shape our regions. It also provides interactive country profiles

To get started, click on the image on the left.



Redefining Urban Areas

With over half the world's population now living in urban areas, defining a metropolitan area is critical in order to reflect the reality of where people live and work, as well as the connections between cities and surrounding areas.

A harmonised definition of urban areas has been developed by the OECD, in collaboration with the EU. This definition is applied to 30OECD countries and identifies 1 179 functional urban areas of different sizes and that can extend across administrative boundaries.

The 281metropolitan areas refer to the functional urban areas with population above 500 000.

The OECD work enables comparison across a range of indicators in metropolitan areas. This video presents key facts on metropolitan areas in OECD countries and a demonstration of how to use the Metro eXplorer database.


On-going projects



The Working Party on Territorial Indicators brings together international experts from all OECD countries to carry out statistical work on the measurement of regional economies.Workshops organised by the WPTI include:


Related publications and documents





For more information please contact Paolo Veneri, Email: or