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Resources by Topic: Rural definitions

Defining Rural America: The Consequences of How We Count
Discusses several federal definitions of rural and the implications of using different definitions. Compares how U.S. Census Bureau and Office Management and Budget (OMB) characterize rural America. Offers principles on how to choose which definition to use to describe rural areas.
Date: 07/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center on Rural Innovation
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Urban-Rural Disparities in Childhood Obesogenic Environments in the United States: Application of Differing Rural Definitions
Analyzes rural versus urban differences in food and physical activity (PA) environments that contribute to childhood obesogenic environment index (COEI) scores. Utilizes multiple data sources to examine 6 food environment variables and 4 PA variables by rural-urban continuum codes, among other rural definitions. Discusses differences in COEI scores and implications for public health practices.
Author(s): Marilyn E. Wende, M. Renée Umstattd Meyer, Christiaan Abildso, Kara Davis, Andrew T. Kaczynski
Citation: Journal of Rural Health
Date: 05/2022
Type: Document
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Health Panel Comment Letter – Promoting Telehealth in Rural America
Offers comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission's proposed rule for Promoting Telehealth in America. Discusses rural classifications for healthcare providers, defining rural areas for program participation, and an alternative method to determine degrees of rurality.
Date: 04/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute Rural Health Panel
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Reimagining Rural: Shifting Paradigms About Health and Well-Being in the Rural United States
Discusses ways to address health disparities in rural areas with a focus on shifting away from the deficit narrative of rural places. Explores definitions of rural, the diversity and intersectionality of rural citizens, and how to conduct participatory community research to promote partnerships and health equity in rural communities.
Author(s): R.A. Afifi, E.A. Parker, G. Dino, D.M. Hall, B. Ulin
Citation: Annual Review of Public Health, 43, 135-154
Date: 04/2022
Type: Document
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Colorado: County Designations, 2022
Map of Colorado identifying counties based on urban, rural, or frontier designation.
Date: 01/2022
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Colorado Rural Health Center
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Colorado: Rural Health Facilities within County Designations, 2022
Identifies Colorado counties by rural, urban, and frontier designations and the location of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).
Date: 2022
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Colorado Rural Health Center
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Counties by Metro/Micro Area Status: 2020
Map of the United States displaying metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas by county using data from the Office and Management and Budget (OMB).
Date: 12/2021
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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Population Denominator Data Sources and Data for Use with HCUP Databases (Updated with 2020 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 rural-urban population data sources. Appendix A, Tables A.6 and A.7 provide U.S. population figures from 2000 through 2020 for a 4-category urban-rural definition and a 6-category urban-rural definition.
Additional links: Appendix
Author(s): Marguerite Barrett, Rosanna M. Coffey, Katharine Levit
Date: 12/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
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Defining "Rural" for the Study on Human Services Programs in Rural Contexts
Report describing the impacts of rural definitions on research design and methods for a study of human services delivery in rural areas. Addresses U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural-Urban Continuum Codes, rural regions, and the limitations of certain definitions.
Author(s): Dallas Elgin, James Murdoch, Corianne Payton Scally, Heather Hahn
Date: 11/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: 2M Research, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Urban Institute
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Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Designated Rural Health Areas in Oklahoma, 2021
County-level map of rural health areas in Oklahoma as designated by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP).
Date: 10/2021
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: Oklahoma State University Center for Rural Health
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