Does anyone know where shapefiles for OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Regions might be found?

The regions are defined in this document:

http://www.oecd.org/regional/regional-policy/42392313.pdf (Warning: ~10MB file)

There is a screenshot from that document showing the regions in Ontario below.

Ideally, what I need is a way to link OECD regional identifiers (like 'CA3560' below) to places on a map I will create in QGIS. Strict boundaries would be nice, but they are not necessary -- geographic long / lat from the centre of each region would also work.


OECD map of Ontario regions

  • Have you tried contacting them? There's an email on the bottom of this page oecd.org/gov/regional-policy/… May 17, 2015 at 6:53
  • Thanks, Andrew. That will be my next step. But I was hoping it might be easier -- and faster -- than that. I am going to try Detlev's approach and see how that goes. Thanks again!
    – tgraybam
    May 17, 2015 at 13:26
  • Not a problem, that's why it was a comment! Just as a point, I had a look at the GADM database (gadm.org) and spotted it hadn't been updated since 2012. You might want to compare the current OECD boundaries visually to the GADM ones - admin boundaries have a nasty habit of changing. This could be a bit of a problem if you're attempting any mapping of OECD data in the future. May 18, 2015 at 1:04
  • Thanks. I hadn't noticed the stale(ish) data in the GADM. I will look closely, though the odd discrepancy won't be an issue for my current project. But it sure might next time.
    – tgraybam
    May 18, 2015 at 12:42
  • Cool, its the boring, tedious side of GIS work - but it does need doing sometimes! May 19, 2015 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


Due to the size of the shapefiles, they are not posted in the OECD website. The TL2 and TL3 shapefiles can be found in the following Dropbox link:


The detailed FUAs can be found at the following link:


For other questions, please contact [email protected].

  • Do you know if there is any licence to use these data ?
    – Bruno
    Feb 17, 2020 at 14:14
  • 1
    It is free to use, see oecd.org/termsandconditions. Except where additional restrictions apply as stated above, You can extract from, download, copy, adapt, print, distribute, share and embed Data for any purpose, even for commercial use. Feb 17, 2020 at 15:05
  • This is very useful, thank you! However, it seems like the files for South Africa are corrupted and cannot be used. Is there any more formal place where you are planning to have up-to-date versions of these files?
    – Dave
    Oct 30, 2020 at 11:03

After a fixed time for searching I would use the GADM database, copy&paste the levels and territory names to Excel or Access, and try to join both. ADM levels 2 and 3, depending on the country, seem to provide geometry and names to join with.

  • This is going to work, thanks Detlev! There was more cutting and pasting and general wrangling than I wanted (plus wrestling with unicode). There is a small number of differences between the GADM data (2012 last updated -- thanks Andrew!) and the OECD patent data (2011). This made joining a bit finicky. But it worked in the end. Thanks!
    – tgraybam
    May 18, 2015 at 12:49
  • I agree with you. Different reference systems, different schemes, and different currentness of data downgrade otherwise fine ETL jobs to copy 'n paste and manual editing. I apologize for the missing info about the latest revision date. But as far as I know GADM is the most complete and freshest free accessible database on administrative boundaries.
    – Detlev
    May 18, 2015 at 16:36
  • No apologies necessary, of course! You saved my bacon. Thanks again.
    – tgraybam
    May 20, 2015 at 15:04

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