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Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey: artificial areas cover 5% of the EU

Oct 25, 2013 | News

(25 October 2013) – In 2012, forests and other wooded land occupied around 40% of the total area of the EU, cropland a quarter and grassland a further fifth, while artificial areas, such as buildings, road and rail networks accounted for 5%.

LUCAS (Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey) data forms the basis for spatial and territorial analyses which are increasingly important for planning and management of agricultural, forest, water and urban areas and mitigation of the impact of natural hazards and climate change.

In Sweden (76% of total land area), Finland (72%), Estonia (61%), Slovenia (60%) and Latvia (56%) more than half of the country is covered by forests and other wooded areas.

The highest shares of cropland are observed in Denmark (49%), Hungary (47%), Romania (36%), the Czech Republic and Poland (both 34%), Germany (33%), Bulgaria and Italy (both 32%) and France (31%).

Ireland (67%) has more than two thirds of the country covered by natural or agricultural grasslands, followed by the United Kingdom (40%), the Netherlands (38%), Luxembourg (37%) and Belgium (32%).

Finland (16%), Sweden (12%) and the Netherlands (11%) have the largest proportions of water areas, while Cyprus (21%), Greece (19%), Malta (15%), Spain and Portugal (both 12%) had the highest proportions of shrub land.

A third of Malta is covered with built-up and other artificial areas, followed by Belgium (13%), Luxembourg and the Netherlands (both 12%).

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