DEFINING RURAL

There have been various ways of defining what is meant by rural.  Space on this page is limited so we do not intend to go into this in detail.

 

The UK government departments now adopt Local Authority classifications that were determined a few years ago.  This starts by creating a cut-off point in terms of population size.  The official cut-off point is 10,000 but that is far too large for us, so we suggest we talk in settlements no larger that 5,000.

 

The same source has three categories determined by shape:  town and fringe, village, and scattered housing.  Each of these is then divided into two: sparsely populated and less sparsely populated.  While this technical approach creates common points of reference it leaves much unsaid.

 

Rural communities are affected primarily by five factors: shape, size, proximity to town or city, degree of incomer presence, and past/present economic aspects.  Some villages have a distinct agricultural identity but some villages have sprung up aound industry or industrial resources.  Some are now almost satellites to a nearby town.  Others have become very suburban and may be thought of as commuter villages.  These are only some of the different kinds of villages.  No two are exactly alike.

Defining Rural
Some helpful information.
Defining Rural.pdf
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