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One challenge in addressing rural-urban disparities is the lack of a common definition. Multiple federal systems exist using different levels of geography (e.g, county versus census tract). Multiple definitions of the “rurality” of a place or population means that the degree of the disparity may vary (or even switch direction) depending on the definition. The NC Rural Health Research Program created this poster,
Delineating Rural Areas in the US, which considers some of the more common federal rural definitions and uses representative population characteristics to demonstrate the sensitivity of the disparity to the specific rural definition.
Click image to download PDF.