Indicators of Rurality: How Should we Define “Rural” and “Urban” Communities?

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Institute for People, Place, and Possibility

Over the last decade, there’s been a lot of talk about the “urban/rural divide” in a number of different contexts. People reference the digital divide, the political divide, the economic divide, healthcare disparities across the urban/rural divide, and more. Some argue that the idea of an urban/rural divide is counterproductive to positive community change, and others maintain that bridging the divide is a key tactic to advancing community well-being. 

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Rural Communities

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Urban Communities