Which Definition of Rurality Should I Use? The Relative Performance of 8 Federal Rural Definitions in Identifying Rural-urban Disparities

There are large variations in the level of agreement among areas that are identified as “rural” under various rurality definitions. Rural-urban disparities are sensitive to the specific definition and which population characteristic that is being considered.

This article explores 8 federal rural definitions and the degree to which they identify the same areas as rural. Rural-urban disparities across socioeconomic, demographic, and health access and outcome measures are also evaluated.

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