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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Rural definitions

Population Denominator Data Sources and Data for Use with the HCUP Databases (Updated with 2017 Population Data)
Identifies sources of population data that can be used with Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) databases to calculate rates of hospital care events per population. Includes two rural-urban population data sources. Appendix A, Tables A.6 and A.7 provide U.S. population figures from 2000 through 2017 for a 4-category urban-rural definition and a 6-category urban-rural definition.
Additional links: Appendix A: Population Data Tables
Author(s): Marguerite Barrett, Rosanna M. Coffey, Katharine Levit
Date: 10/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
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Definitions of “Rural” in Texas Statutes and the Texas Administrative Code
Details the various definitions of rural used by the state of Texas. Features maps illustrating the counties considered rural by each definition.
Date: 04/2018
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Texas Legislative Council
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Who Are Frontier Americans?
Provides an overview of the various definitions for frontier, including their development, definitions currently in use, and the need for specific frontier definitions. Includes demographic and economic characteristics of frontier areas.
Author(s): Ben Rasmussen
Date: 08/2017
Type: Presentation Slides
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Frontier Communities
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Rurality Matters
An overview of a Census Bureau identification of counties as mostly urban, mostly rural, and completely rural, based on 2010 Census data. Includes charts showing selected statistics by rurality for adults and children, using 2011-2015 American Community Survey data.
Author(s): Kelly Ann Holder, Alison Fields, Daphne Lofquist
Date: 12/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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Rural America Story Map
A set of interactive maps, information, and images that explains how the Census Bureau defines "rural", identifies Census Bureau sources of rural data, and shares selected rural statistics.
Date: 12/2016
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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Defining Rural at the U.S. Census Bureau
An overview of how the Census Bureau has defined rural in the past, the current way urban/rural areas are identified by the Census, and the relationship between decennial censuses, the American Community Survey (ACS), and geography.
Author(s): Michael Ratcliffe, Charlynn Burd, Kelly Holder, Alison Fields
Date: 12/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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List of Rural Counties and Designated Eligible Census Tracts in Metropolitan Counties
Identifies areas with geographic eligibility for Federal Office of Rural Health Policy grant programs. Lists rural counties and, within metropolitan counties, census tracts that are considered rural.
Date: 12/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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Definition of Frontier
A policy paper discussing the various definitions of frontier, and the methodologies for determining the different definitions. The intent of this paper is to support state and federal programs in their selection of the most appropriate definition to attain their program goals.
Author(s): Susan Wilger, National Center for Frontier Communities
Date: 02/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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Colorado: County Designations, 2018
Identifies counties in Colorado based on urban, rural, or frontier designation.
Date: 01/2016
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Colorado Rural Health Center
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Florida's Rural Counties
Florida map using 2010 census data to show counties that are rural, urban, and those that changed from rural to urban as of 2010.
Date: 2016
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Florida Health
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