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What is "Rural"?

Depends on who you ask.

There are many rural-urban classification schemes, each with their own purpose and way of defining “rural”.

The resources below explain the differences and describe things to consider when selecting a definition.

Resources

Defining Rural for Wisconsin

A discussion of how different definitions are used for different decisions.

Putting Rural Wisconsin on the Map

A WisCONTEXT article describing how defining rural can help us better understand rural-urban differences.

Wisconsin Divided Ten Ways

A Review of Rural-Urban Classification Systems – A report defining rural Wisconsin according to ten commonly-used classification systems.

Am I Rural?

The Rural Health Information Hub’s Am I Rural? tool can be used to determine whether a specific location is considered rural based on multiple definitions.

Municipal-level Urban-Rural Classification (MURC)

MURC was developed  by the Office of Rural Health to identify the level of rurality of each of Wisconsin’s 1,850 cities, towns, and villages.

Penny Black
Staff Contact:

Penny Black
Data and Evaluation Program Manager
pdblack@wisc.edu
(608) 261-1887

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