Rural is a broad term encompassing a non-urban, non-suburban area. The Census Bureau defines urban as any area with at least 2,000 housing units or with a population of at least 5,000.
“Rural” encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area. Colloquially, however, rural has a much more generalized conception and is often associated with a certain type of (often romanticized or stereotyped) lifestyle related to the country. In some contexts, rural also is a euphemism or coded term for “poor.” Not all rural individuals necessarily work agricultural or other manual labor jobs in particular.
- Urban and Rural (US Census)
- What unites and divides urban, suburban and rural communities (Pew Research)
- For many rural residents in U.S., local news media mostly don’t cover the area where they live (Pew)
Rural has a long association with being lower-income and as a euphemism or coded term for “poor.” Not all rural individuals necessarily work agricultural or other manual labor jobs in particular.