Modification of NSI codes of municipalities and administrative districts from 1st January 2019

About Statbel
Modification of NSI codes of municipalities and administrative districts from 1st January 2019

The NSI code is a numerical code developed by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, that is assigned to every administrative entity in order to facilitate the geographical referencing of the statistics produced.

The NSI code is five-characters long:

  • The first character refers to the province number.
  • The second refers to the administrative district number.
  • The last three characters define the unique code of the municipality in the district.

Several modifications have been made to the administrative districts of the province of Hainaut. Besides, several municipalities in the Flemish Region will merge on 1st January 2019. These changes concern a total of 26 existing municipalities in nine administrative districts.

Following these modifications, Statbel has adapted the NSI codes of municipalities and administrative districts.

Indeed, on the one hand, the merger of two municipalities leads to the creation of a new administrative entity, which logically receives a new NSI code. On the other hand, the codification of administrative was first designed to be a hierarchical codification that allows the code of the administrative district and the province (except for Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant since the division of the province of Brabant) to be generated from the municipality code and to facilitate statistical treatments. Consequently, a municipality changing districts will receive a new code for generating the code of its new district.

Since the parts of municipalities and statistical sectors are not affected by the mergers or the changes in administrative districts, their codes have not been modified. This facilitates comparisons with previous statistics (it is not possible to simply use the new municipality code for the first five positions because this would result in duplicates due to the mergers). The geographical files and statistical tables will contain, next to the field with the statistical sector code, a field with the NSI code of the municipality.

The list of municipalities affected by these changes as well as the NSI codes to be used from 2019 onwards are available at:

Obviously, these modifications have an impact on the results that Statbel publishes for administrative districts and municipalities. So, from 1st January 2019 onwards, the results will be published according to the new NSI codes. In practical terms, this means that the results published will take into account the change in the composition of the administrative districts in Hainaut and the merger of some Flemish municipalities. There will therefore be a break with the previously published results because, on the one hand, the composition of some administrative districts will no longer be the same and, on the other hand, there will be no longer be any results for the municipalities that disappear following their merger with another municipality. In order to ensure a better comparability of the results over time, Statbel will recalculate the data of the previous years for some historical series according to the new administrative division.

These changes will also be included in the nomenclature of territorial units for statistics NUTS 2019, that Eurostat will use for the publication of European statistics from 2021 onwards.