Section 10: Rural

Sponsored by The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural) at the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities at the University of Montana.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) separates U.S. counties into metropolitan (urban) and nonmetropolitan counties based on population thresholds and commuting patterns (shown in the map below). Counties are classified as metropolitan (urban) if they contain an urban core of at least 50,000 people or if a significant proportion of the population commutes into an adjacent urban core. Nonmetropolitan counties can be further classified into micropolitan and noncore counties, with micropolitan counties having an urban core of 10,000 to 50,000 people and noncore counties being those that remain. Although metropolitan (urban), micropolitan, and noncore designations do not fully describe the varied conditions across places, they suggest that infrastructure and associated economic and demographic factors contribute to peoples’ experience in rural counties.