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2010 Census Urban and Rural Classification and Urban Area Criteria

The Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification is fundamentally a delineation of geographical areas, identifying both individual urban areas and the rural areas of the nation.  The Census Bureau’s urban areas represent densely developed territory, and encompass residential, commercial, and other non-residential urban land uses.

For the 2010 Census, an urban area will comprise a densely settled core of census tracts and/or census blocks that meet minimum population density requirements, along with adjacent territory containing non-residential urban land uses as well as territory with low population density included to link outlying densely settled territory with the densely settled core.  To qualify as an urban area, the territory identified according to criteria must encompass at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of which reside outside institutional group quarters.  The Census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas:

  • Urbanized Areas (UAs) of 50,000 or more people;
  • Urban Clusters (UCs) of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people.

“Rural” encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.


About the 2010 Urban Areas

Urban, Urbanized Area, Urban Cluster, and Rural Population, 2010 and 2000: United States

Area Number of 2010
Urban Areas
Population Percentage of Total Population
2010200020102000
United States3,573308,745,538 281,421,906  
Urban 249,253,271222,360,539 80.7% 79.0%
  Urbanized Areas486219,922,123192,323,824 71.2% 68.3%
  Urban Clusters3,08729,331,14830,036,715 9.5% 10.7%
  Rural  59,492,26759,061,367 19.3% 21.0%

Urban, Urbanized Area, Urban Cluster, and Rural Population, 2010 and 2000: Puerto Rico


Area Number of 2010
Urban Areas
Population Percentage of Total Population
2010200020102000
Puerto Rico 19 3,725,789 3,808,610    
Urban   3,493,256 3,590,994 93.8% 94.3%
  Urbanized Areas 11 3,379,977 3,476,691 90.7% 91.3%
  Urban Clusters 8 113,279 114,303 3.0% 3.0%
  Rural   232,533 217,616 6.2% 5.6%

Urban Area Criteria for the 2010 Census

Lists of 2010 Census Urban Areas

  • A national 2010 urban area file containing a list of all urbanized areas and urban clusters (including Puerto Rico and the Island Areas) sorted by UACE code [XLS] or [TXT]
  • A national list of all 2010 urbanized areas (including Puerto Rico and the Island Areas) sorted by UACE code [XLS] or [TXT]
  • A national list of all 2010 urban clusters (including Puerto Rico and the Island Areas) sorted by UACE code [XLS] or [TXT]
  • A national, state-sorted list of all 2010 urbanized areas and urban clusters for the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Island Areas first sorted by state FIPS code, then sorted by UACE code [XLS] or [TXT]
  • A national, state-sorted list of all 2010 urbanized areas for the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Island Areas first sorted by state FIPS code, then sorted by UACE code [XLS] or [TXT]
  • A national, state-sorted list of all 2010 urban clusters for the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Island Areas first sorted by state FIPS code, then sorted by UACE code [XLS] or [TXT]

Record layouts for 2010 urban area lists

Lists of Population, Land Area, and Percent Urban and Rural in 2010 and Changes from 2000 to 2010

  • Percent urban and rural in 2010 by state [XLS] or [TXT]
  • Percent urban and rural in 2010 by state and county [XLS] or [TXT]
  • Changes in urbanized areas from 2000 to 2010 [XLS] or [TXT]

Record layouts for lists of percent urban and rural in 2010 and changes from 2000 to 2010

Relationship Files for 2010 Census Urban Areas

The 2010 urban area relationship files provide simple relationships between the 2010 urban areas and other 2010 Census tabulation geography. From these files, data users may determine which urban areas exist within the other geographies and vice versa.

Other Census Urban Area Information - Maps, Shapefiles & References

Contact Information

If you have questions about the 2010 Urban and Rural Classification and Urban Areas Criteria, please contact us via one of the methods listed on our Contact Us page.




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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Geography | (301) 763-1128 |  Last Revised: July 22, 2013