Which Rurality Definition?: The Relative Performance of 8 Federal Rural Definitions in Identifying Rural-urban Disparities


  • Paul Delamater, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of North
    Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Julia Long, BSPH

    Research Assistant, Cecil G Sheps Center for Health Services Research,
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Davis Patterson, PhD

    Deputy Director, WWAMI Rural Health Research Center, and
    Director of the Collaborative for Rural Primary Care Research, Education, and Practice (Rural PREP), and Investigator, Center for Health Workforce Studies, University of Washington


Methodology, Rural Health


There are large variations in the level of agreement among areas that are identified as “rural” under various rurality definitions. Rural-urban disparities are sensitive to the specific definition and which population characteristic that is being considered. This webinar explores 8 federal rural definitions and the degree to which they identify the same areas as rural. Rural-urban disparities across socioeconomic, demographic, and health access and outcome measures are also evaluated.


45 minutes

Event Date

July 27, 2021