JRC Mobility Functional Areas estimates

Collection: MOB : Mobility Research Data 


The dataset contains information about how subnational geographical areas cluster with in terms of human mobility measured through Mobile Network Operator (MNO) data, irrespective of the administrative borders.

A Mobility Functional Area (MFA) is a dense cluster of highly interconnected regions.

For each geographical area, the data consists of an id, the id of the MFA to which the area belongs, the type of MFA, the country and the NUTS3 reference, and the id of the MNO operator (there might be multiple operators per country). The definition of the geographical area change from country to country and varies from census level (ACE), LAU, or other aggregation defined by the corresponing MNO.

The shape files are available separately.

Read more about the European Commission Data4Covid Initiative at EU Science Hub ( and at GSMA Europe (


stefano.iacus (at)


  • Carlos Santamaria Serna
  • Francesco Sermi
  • Spyridon SPYRATOS
  • Michele Vespe
  • Dario Tarchi

How to cite

Santamaria Serna, Carlos; Sermi, Francesco; SPYRATOS, Spyridon; Vespe, Michele; Tarchi, Dario (2021): JRC Mobility Functional Areas estimates. European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) [Dataset] PID:


mobile data COVID-19 human mobility

Data access

Access JRC Mobility Functional Areas dataset
  • The dataset is available for download


Mapping Mobility Functional Areas (MFA) using Mobile Positioning Data to Inform COVID-19 Policies
Iacus, S., Santamaria Serna, C., Sermi, F., Spyratos, S., Tarchi, D. and Vespe, M., Mapping Mobility Functional Areas (MFA) using Mobile Positioning Data to Inform COVID-19 Policies, EUR 30291 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2020, ISBN 978-92-76-20429-9 (online), doi:10.2760/076318 (online), JRC121299.
  • Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Publication page 
  • Abstract

    This work introduces the concept of data-driven Mobility Functional Areas (MFAs) as geographic zones with high degree of intra-mobility exchanges. Such information, calculated at European regional scale thanks to mobile data, can be useful to inform targeted reescalation policy responses in cases of future COVID-19 outbreaks (avoiding large-area or even national lockdowns). In such events, the geographic distribution of MFAs would define territorial areas to which lockdown interventions could be limited, with the result of minimising socio-economic consequences of such policies. The analysis of the time evolution of MFAs can also be thought of as a measure of how human mobility changes not only in intensity but also in patterns, providing innovative insights into the impact of mobility containment measures. This work presents a first analysis for 15 European countries (14 EU Member States and Norway).

Geographic areas

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Czechia Germany Denmark Spain Estonia Finland France Greece Croatia Italy Norway Portugal Slovenia Sweden

Temporal coverage

From date To date
2020-01-01 2021-03-31

Additional information

Published by
European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Created date
Modified date
Issued date
Landing page 
Data theme(s)
Population and society
Update frequency