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The Municipal Urban-Rural Classification (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. To look up the rurality of a single address or a group of addresses, click the button:

MURC Lookup

Based on research conducted by the US Census Bureau, US Department of Agriculture, Rural Health Research Centers, and others, we identified three components to determine reality:

Full Classification

The full classification system has 15 classes, ranging from municipalities that are over 100 miles from a population center and have fewer than 2,500 residents to municipalities that serve as population centers with more than 50,000 residents:

Simplified Classification

For practical application of the MURC system, classes can be collapsed into a recommended three-class version:

Data Sources
  • 2015 population estimates – Wisconsin: Department of Administration, Demographic Services Center; Surrounding states: US Census Bureau
  • 2016 land area – Wisconsin: Legislative Technology Services Bureau; Surrounding states: US Census Bureau

Municipal-level Urban-Rural Classification System – a pdf that includes all of the information on this page, including maps

Municipal-level Urban-Rural Classification System_AppendixA – a complete list of municipalities and their MURC-full and MURC-3 class designations

MURC last updated: July 2016

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