Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rurality Matters

"Today, about 60 million residents of the United States live in areas designated as rural by the U.S. Census Bureau. So, what exactly does rural look like? “Rural” can span from the less-populated towns outside of large and small city centers to remote areas in the mountains, plains, and deserts across the nation.
Counties can be a mixture of urban and rural areas. To understand the characteristics of rural residents in different rural settings, we categorized the 3,142 counties in the U.S. into three levels of rurality based on the percentage of the population living in the rural areas of the county. We used the 2010 definition of urban and rural as determined by the decennial census population. The counties were delineated as mostly urban (less than 50.0 percent of the county population lived in rural areas), mostly rural (50.0 to 99.9 percent lived in rural areas), and completely rural (100.0 percent lived in rural areas). Based on these county categories, we identified 704 counties as completely rural, meaning all 5.3 million people lived in rural areas (see Figure 1)..."

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