In 2018, almost two thirds (65%) of the area of Mainland Portugal was occupied by forest and cropland areas, with the Centro and Norte regions having, respectively, the highest proportions of forest and cropland areas. In 2018, the land use and land cover classes showed different territorial patterns of overrepresentation at local level, with a set of 16 municipalities, where the proportion of artificial territories was six times higher than in Mainland Portugal, standing out.
Between 2015 and 2018, the surface area of the classes relating to surface water bodies, artificial land and cropland areas were the fastest growing on Mainland Portugal, with the surface area of grassland scoring the largest relative decrease. In turn, cropland, forest, grassland and shrubland areas showed the most significant territorial changes, with forest, grassland and shrubland areas scoring negative balances in land use land cover transitions, and cropland areas a positive balance. At regional level, cropland areas showed a positive balance in all NUTS 2 regions on the mainland and in the Centro, Alentejo and Algarve regions, contrary to what was observed for Mainland Portugal, there were also gains in forest area.