Thursday, 25 June 2015 19:10

Guidance issued on rural definition

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Guidance issued on rural definition

THE government has published guidance explaining how it defines a rural area.

Wherever possible, the Rural-Urban Classification is used to distinguish rural and urban areas, says the guidance.

Published on Thursday (25 June), the classification defines areas as rural if they fall outside of settlements with more than 10,000 resident population.

Census Output Areas – the smallest areas for which data are available from the 2001 and 2011 Censuses – are assigned to one of four urban or six rural categories.

When data are not available at a small enough geographical scale, it may be possible to apply the Rural-Urban Local Authority Classification.

This classification categorises districts and unitary authorities on a six point scale from rural to urban. It is underpinned by rural and urban populations.

However, the Local Authority Classification also considers some urban areas as Hub Towns – with populations of between 10,000 and 30,000 people.

These towns are considered hubs for services and businesses for a wider rural hinterland and their populations are therefore classified as effectively rural.

Under the classification each Local Authority District is assigned to one of six categories on the basis of the percentage of the total resident population.

The categories are frequently aggregated to predominantly rural, urban with significant rural and predominantly urban as shown.

Classifications are based on populations and settlement patterns, rather than the amount of countryside.

Authorities classified as urban may have wide areas of countryside and may have sizeable rural populations.

The classification has been made according to the proportions of the population residing in urban settlements and outside urban settlements.

For the full classification, click here.

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