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.
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
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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