This is how the rural areas are categorized in the UK

The rural areas in the UK

The rural areas in the UK. The rural and urban areas make the dwelling of human beings. Most human beings in the developed economies live in urban areas, whereas most population in the developing economies live in the rural areas. According to literature on poverty most poor people in both developed and developing countries live in the rural areas.


The UK is a developed economy in the world. Despite being a developed economy it also has rural areas and poor people too as in developing economies. In this brief article taken from one of the reports from the UK itself; it narrates how the rural areas are categorized.


Wherever possible, 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. Census Output Areas – the smallest areas for which data are available from the 2001 and 2011 Censuses – are assigned to one of four urban or six rural categories:


It should be noted that the classifications are based on populations and settlement patterns, not on how much countryside there is. Authorities classified as urban may have wide areas of countryside and may have sizeable rural populations. The classification has been made according to the proportions of the population residing in urban settlements and outside urban settlements.

A 2011-based Local Authority Classification was published in December 2014 based on the 2011 Census and the detailed 2011 rural-urban classification of Census Output Areas (published in 2013) and this replaces the previous 2001-based Local Authority Classification. The Digest is not updated in its entirety according to the 2011-based classification. Some sections will refer to the previous 2001-based classification.

The 2011-based Rural Urban Local Authority Classification, or RUCLAD11, has fewer Local Authorities categorized as being largely or mainly ‘rural’. This is due to an overall increase in population, plus an expansion of certain settlements and the density of those built up areas. The classification is based on the proportion of people living in settlements defined as ‘rural’ (below 10,000 population), or living in certain ‘hub towns’ (populations between 10,000 and 30,000) that have been identified as having the potential to serve the wider rural areas.


The impact of population changes and settlement patterns is that fewer settlements are defined as ‘rural’ when compared with the previous Census, and hence proportionately fewer people are regarded as living in rural areas. In some cases this means that Local Authorities which were regarded as ‘rural’ in the previous classification are no longer classed as ‘rural’.

This article and more that what is presented here can be found through this link:

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