Official Statistics

Defining rural areas using the rural urban classification

How rural areas are defined using the Rural Urban Classification.


Defining rural areas


The Rural Urban Classification is used to distinguish rural and urban areas. The Classification defines areas as rural if they fall outside of settlements with more than 10,000 resident population.

Coverage: England

Rural classification used: Office for National Statistics Rural Urban Classification

Further information:

Defra statistics: rural

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Published 25 June 2015
Last updated 9 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Published today, updated note including revised colour schemes for rural urban classification

  2. We’ve changed how we’ve organised rural statistics and updated the content following Lord Cameron’s review of rural proofing.

  3. This version of 'Defining rural areas' includes minor updates (previously published elsewhere in the Statistical Digest of Rural England) to help explain how rural areas are defined using the local authority Rural-Urban Classification.

  4. First published.