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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Rural definitions

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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Definition: Rural Alabama (Policy Brief)
State-specific definition for health policy, used to identify rural people, places, and healthcare providers. Based on geographic units that allow the identification of population or provider characteristics.
Author(s): William H. Coleman
Date: 03/2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Alabama Rural Health Association
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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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Rationalizing Rural Area Classifications for the Economic Research Service: A Workshop
Summarizes an April 2015 workshop that explored the data, estimation, and policy issues related to rural classifications currently in use by the Economic Research Service (ERS): Rural Urban Continuum Codes (RUCCs), Urban Influence Codes (UICs), Rural Urban Community Area (RUCA) codes, and Frontier and Remote (FAR) codes.
Author(s): Committee on National Statistics
Date: 2016
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Micropolitan America: A New and Critical Part of the Nation’s Geography
Provides an overview of the micropolitan designation, highlighting important features and demographics. Also presents a preliminary agenda for future research and seeks to engage others in a national initiative that will further the understanding of micropolitan areas.
Author(s): Sam M. Cordes, J. Matthew Fannin
Date: 11/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
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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: 11/2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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Health in Rural Missouri, 2013-2015 Biennial Report
A summary of rural health information for the state of Missouri. Includes discussions of rural definitions, demographic and socioeconomic indicators, health status, health behaviors, risk factors, healthcare resources, and maternal, infant, and child health. Also provides a report of the Missouri State Office of Rural Health activities and recommendations to the legislature.
Date: 2015
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Missouri Office of Primary Care and Rural Health
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Overview of Urban-Rural Classification Schemes Including the 2013 NCHS Urban-Rural Classification Scheme for Counties
Slides from a presentation given at the 2015 National Conference on Health Statistics. Reviews major urban-rural classification schemes, with examples of health data presented using different approaches. Focuses on the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Urban-Rural Classification Scheme.
Author(s): Deborah D. Ingram
Date: 2015
Type: Presentation Slides
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
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