Official Statistics

Local Authority Rural-Urban Classification

Detailed guidance on the Local Authority Rural-Urban Classification and how and when to apply it.

Documents

Introduction to Local Authority Rural-Urban Classification

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Original Guidance on Local Authority Rural-Urban Classification

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Updated Guidance on Local Authority Rural-Urban Classification

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Rural-Urban Classification of Local Authorities Pre-2009 Boundaries

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Rural-Urban Classification of Local Authorities Post-2009 Boundaries

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Details

The Local Authority (LA) Rural-Urban Classification was introduced in 2005 as a Defra initiative and was delivered by the Rural Evidence Research Centre at Birkbeck College (RERC).

Many statistics are only available at Local Authority level. In order to examine rural and urban differences and similarities for these areas, it is necessary to classify the LAs based on their rurality.

The LA Classification is a ‘spectrum’, or graded system and is based on settlement type as defined by the rural/urban definition. It gives 6 Urban/Rural Classifications:

  • major urban: districts with either 100,000 people or 50 percent of their population in urban areas with a population of more than 750,000;
  • large urban: districts with either 50,000 people or 50 percent of their population in one of 17 urban areas with a population between 250,000 and 750,000;
  • other urban: districts with less than 26 percent of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns;
  • significant rural: districts with more than 26 percent of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns;
  • rural-50: districts with at least 50 percent but less than 80 percent of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns;
  • rural-80: districts with at least 80 percent of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns

Prior to local government reorganisation in 2009, the classification used a slightly different methodology and, therefore, some local councils were classified differently. However since April 2009, for consistency the new methodology has been applied both to the new local council structure (326 councils in England) and to the old structure (354 councils).

For further information you can contact: rural.statistics@defra.gsi.gov.uk
Twitter
Defra Helpline: 08459 33 55 77 (Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm)

Published 24 June 2011