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Urban and Rural

The Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification is a delineation of geographic areas, identifying both individual urban areas and the rural area of the nation. The Census Bureau’s urban areas represent densely developed territory, and encompass residential, commercial, and other non-residential urban land uses. The Census Bureau delineates urban areas after each decennial census by applying specified criteria to decennial census and other data. Rural encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

For the 2020 Census, an urban area will comprise a densely settled core of census blocks that meet minimum housing unit density and/or population density requirements. This includes adjacent territory containing non-residential urban land uses. To qualify as an urban area, the territory identified according to criteria must encompass at least 2,000 housing units or have a population of at least 5,000.


2020 Census Urban and Rural Classification


For more information about the history of Urban and Rural Classification, please see:

Urban and Rural References