The average size of Italian Nuts2 units, in terms of surface area, is of just over 14,000 km2; each unit has an average population of nearly 2.9 million.
In 2016, population density, which is a useful indicator of the impact of human activity on the environment, confirmed at 200 inhabitants per km2 with an increase of nearly 8 inhabitants per km2 over the last 10 years.
In 2017, terrestrial protected areas included in the "Natura 2000" network covered 19.35 of the national territory (a considerable share of protected natural areas) corresponding to an area of over 58,000 km2; protected sea areas included nearly 6,000 km2 of waters area. While the total number of Spa was almost unchanged over 2016, Sci and Sca showed a sligh increase to a total of 2,335 sites; almost 74% of them have completed the procedure provided for by the Eu to be designated as Spa (from the previous designation of Sci).
Data on the number of building permits, new dwellings planned and their relevant useful floor area are useful leading indicators of construction activities. In 2015, the ratio of the above indicators, which measure the intensity of the phenomenon, to the number of resident households continued to gradually decline. Figures for the last three quarters of 2016, however, showed a reversal of the trend.