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What is Rural? – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on What is Rural?.

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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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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Which Definition of Rurality Should I Use?: The Relative Performance of 8 Federal Rural Definitions in Identifying Rural-Urban Disparities
Study comparing 8 definitions of rural used by the federal government in order to understand how often the same areas were identified as rural and to measure rural-urban disparities related to socioeconomic status, demographics, healthcare access, and health outcomes. Analyzes 20210 census tract-level spatial data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2014-2019 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) population estimates, the Provider of Services file, and the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System files from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Author(s): Julianna C. Long, Paul L. Delamater, George M. Holmes
Citation: Medical Care, 59, S413-S419
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
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2020 Census Results: Regional Tribal Land Data Summary
Presents a summary of changes in tribal areas as a result of the 2020 census. Highlights geographic changes, such as the addition of tribal lands, and population changes by region. Features a number of regional reports breaking down census data.
Additional links: Alaska Region, Eastern Oklahoma and Southern Plains Region, Great Plains Region, Midwest Region, Navajo Region, Northeast Region, Northwest Region, Pacific Region, Rocky Mountain Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Western Region
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center
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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, rural census tracts within metropolitan counties, and outlying metropolitan counties without an Urbanized Area.
Date: 09/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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Comment on Recommendations from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee to Changes in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Area Standards
Offers comments in response to the Office of Management and Budget's proposed changes to the metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area standards. Discusses potential unintended consequences of the proposed changes and the broader implications of the definition of metropolitan on research and policy development.
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
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Is Rural America Failing or Succeeding? Maybe Both
Policy brief examining Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reclassification of rural counties as metropolitan due to population growth. Provides visual data on counties that transitioned from nonmetropolitan to metropolitan since 1970, including a U.S. map representing reclassified counties. Discusses the implications of reclassification for economic policy and interpretations of rural demographics.
Author(s): Kenneth M. Johnson and Daniel T. Lichter
Date: 09/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Carsey School of Public Policy
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What is Rural?
Provides an overview of the different ways the federal government describes areas as rural. Discusses confusion that can arise from multiple definitions of rural areas. Compares how different urban-rural designations classify each county in South Carolina.
Author(s): Samantha Renaud, Kevin Bennett
Date: 08/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare
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Considerations for Defining Rural Places in Health Policies and Programs
Highlights key questions to be considered when evaluating a definition of rural that is most appropriate for a specific policy or program. Discusses the principles needed to drive rural definitions and the current challenges of changing rural definitions. Provides an overview of common rural definitions in use, and offers options for the development of new definitions and adjustments to current definitions.
Author(s): Keith J. Mueller, Andrew F. Coburn, Alana Knudson, Jennifer P. Lundblad, A. Clinton MacKinney, et al.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute Rural Health Panel
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Micropolitan America
Infographic showing a variety of charts about micropolitan statistical areas. Includes a map of micropolitan areas. Provides data on the micropolitan population compared to the U.S. population as a whole, covering age and sex, race/ethnicity, population change, industry, and occupation.
Date: 07/2019
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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Last Updated: 5/25/2022