Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is EFGS, Eurostat and GEOSTAT?

EFGS is a network of experts for voluntary cooperation between National Statistical Institutions primarly in Europe. For more information see About EFGS.

GEOSTAT – set of ESSnet grant projects financed by European Statistical System.

Eurostat – the project owner. Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions.

What are the background, purpose, and progress of the GEOSTAT project?

The first GEOSTAT project was launched at the beginning of 2010 by Eurostat in cooperation with the European Forum for Geopraphy and Statistics  (EFGS), to promote grid-based statistics and more generally to work towards the integration of statistical and geospatial information in a common information infrastructure for the EU.

Its aim is to develop common guidelines for the collection and production of geospatial- and grid-statistics within the European Statistical System and to map the 2011 Population and Housing Census on a 1 km² grid.

What are the organisational system and legal foundations of the GEOSTAT projects?

The GEOSTAT projects are ESSnet projects ( The reason behind ESSnet projects are the Directors General of National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) expressed need to find synergies, harmonization and dissemination of best practices in the European Statistical System (ESS). GEOSTAT 3 is the third round of GEOSTAT projects.

The participants in the various GEOSTAT projects are NSIs and members of the European Forum for Geography and Statistics. EFGS started as a voluntary cooperation between National Statistical Institutions (NSIs) in the Nordic countries in 1998, on use of geographic information systems (GIS) and statistics.

Today EFGS has national contact persons from more than 40 states and territories, having annual conferences and meetings. European Forum for Geography and Statistics (previously European Forum for Geostatistics) activities are mainly concentrated on the development of the best practices in the production of geostatistics in Europe.

Are there official guidelines about the methods for producing and providing geospatial statistics?

EFGS with the support of Eurostat produced a series of best practice documents gathered on the website of EFGS. In 2013, documents were gathered and distributed to the various National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) in Europe. The NSIs were also asked to make use of the guidelines and asked to share data with the EFGS and Eurostat:

As mentioned in the invitation letter were the data to be shared in as a text file (.CSV) including GRID-IDs from the European GRID: or the so called Grid_ETRS89-LAEA. For more information see:

Does users need to pay for European geospatial statistics? If so, what is the pricing policy?

No, data can be obtained free of charge.

Who are the users of your data?

European Commission, research institutes and data analysis companies.

What kinds grid statistics does Eurostat or the GEOSTAT project produce?

Where to find population grid data for Europe?

Population grids for Europe (1 x 1 km grid cells) for 2006 and 2011 can be downloaded from Eurostat. Data can also be viewed here.