A high resolution economic density zone map of Europe



This dataset contains three files:
1) readme.pdf explains the construction of the dataset;
2) GeoTiff.zip contains GIS GeoTiff files for the economic density map and the economic density zones;
3) thumbnail.jpg provides an image of the economic density map.


Available data for gross domestic product (GDP) and population density are useful for defining divisions in socio-economic gradients across Europe, since economic power and human population pressure are recognised as two of the most critical factors causing ecosystem changes. To overcome both the limitations in data availability and in the distortions caused by using administrative regions, we decided to base the socio-economic dimension on an economic density indicator, defined as the income generated per square kilometre (€ km−2), which can be mapped at a 1km2 spatial resolution. Economic density forms an integrative indicator that is based on two key drivers that were identified above: economic power and human population pressure. The indicator, which has been used to rank countries by their level of development, can be considered a crude measure for impacts on the environment caused by economic activity.

An economic density map (€ km−2) at 1 km2 spatial resolution was constructed by multiplying economic power (€ person−1) with population density (person km−2). Subsequent logarithmic divisions resulted in an aggregated map of four economic density zones. Although the map has a fine spatial resolution it has to be realised that they form a spatial disaggregation of coarser census statistics. Importantly, the finer resolution discerns regional gradients in human activity that are required for many environmental studies, whilst broad gradients in economic activity is also treated consistently across Europe.

GDP and population density data used were for the year 2001.

The dataset consists of GeoTiff files of the economic density map and the four economic density zones.

Data Citation

Metzger, Marc J. (2018). A high resolution economic density zone map of Europe, [dataset]. University of Edinburgh. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/2419.
Date made available17 Aug 2018
PublisherEdinburgh DataShare
Geographical coverageEurope

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