Rural Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) codes are a collaboration of the USDA Economic Research
Service and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. This definition uses daily commuting
patterns to understand a location's rurality.
RUCA codes are assigned at the census tract and zip-code level based on population density,
urbanization, and daily commuting patterns. The primary classification uses 10 codes (1-10) to
identify metropolitan, micropolitan, small town, and rural commuting areas, based on the
primary flow of commuting. Secondary commuting flow is used to subdivide these 10 codes.
Current RUCA codes by census tract are based on data from the 2010 Census and the 2006-10 American
Community Survey. On July 3, 2019, the USDA revised the Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) Codes data
product to correct a programming error affecting the 2010 secondary RUCA codes. The revision
corrects the secondary codes of 10,909 of 74,002 census tracts. Secondary RUCA codes may be used to
classify census tracts into rural and urban categories. The revised secondary codes result in an
increase in the number of census tracts classified as rural. The 2010 primary RUCA codes are not
affected by this revision.
The Am I Rural? tool reports the RUCA code for the census tract of a given location.
Data Source Used:
Commuting Area Codes, Economic