Urban and Rural Population (730)


Data are from the US 2010 Decennial Census, which provides urban and rural attributes for all geographic areas. By the 2010 Census definition, urban areas are comprised of a densely settled core of census tracts and/or census blocks that meet minimum population density requirements and/or land use requirements. 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.

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. Areas adjacent to urban areas and cores are also designated as urban when they are non-residential, but contain urban land uses, or when they contain low population, but link outlying densely settled territory with the densely settled core.
“Rural” areas consist of all territory, population, and housing units located outside UAs and UCs. Geographic entities, such as metropolitan areas, counties, minor civil divisions, places, and census tracts, often contain both urban and rural territory, population, and housing units. Indicator data tables display the percentage of population in areas designated either urban or rural based on the following formula:

Percentage = [Urban or Rural Population] / [Total Population] * 100
For more information, please visit the US Census Bureau’s 2010 Urban and Rural Classification web page.


The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The census collects information about the age, sex, race, and ethnicity of every person in the United States. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. For more information about this source, refer to the United States Census 2010 website.


Race and Ethnicity
Race and ethnicity (Hispanic origin) are collected as two separate categories in the US Decennial Census based on methods established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1997. Indicator race and ethnicity statistics are generated from self-identified survey responses. Using the OMB standard, the available race categories in the 2010 Census are: White, Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, and Other. An ACS survey respondent may identify as one race alone, or may choose multiple races. Respondents selecting multiple categories are racially identified as “Two or More Races”. The minimum ethnicity categories are: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino. Respondents may only choose one ethnicity.