Research on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that includes geographic information is important in order to improve care and appropriate allocation of resources to patients suffering from COPD. The purpose of this study is to investigate the geography of COPD and factors associated with the spatial patterns of COPD prevalence. Particular emphasis is put on the role of the local socioeconomic environment. Utilising information from the Norwegian Prescription Database on all lung medication prescribed in 2009 we identified 62,882 persons with COPD in the Norwegian population. Patterns of spatial clustering in the prevalence of COPD are clearly evident, even when age and gender are controlled for. Gender and age are strongly related to COPD risk. Socio-economic characteristics of the community such as education and unemployment are also significantly correlated with COPD risk. People living in rural parts of the country are generally associated with less risk than people in urban settings, and in particular people living in communities with high levels of farm and fisheries employment.