Rural Virginia Defined

Are you “rural?”

Federal and state programs that target rural communities, rural health professionals and rural providers have often developed program-specific definitions of what constitutes “rural.” This assures that programs address the needs of clearly defined target audiences but also leads to widely divergent definitions of what constitutes a rural area.

Overviews of how rural areas are defined can be found at:

  1. “What is Rural?” Rural Assistance Center:  Health and Human Services Information for rural America
  2.  “Choosing Rural Definitions: Implications for Health Policy” Rural Policy Research Institute (RPRI)
  3.  “Measuring Rurality” Economic Research Service (ERS), US Department of Agriculture

Maps of Virginia “rural” areas presenting the most common rural definitions are: