How to identify rural areas?


#1

I would like to know if it is possible to identify rural areas from 2000 to 2013 ACS data.

Thank you


#2

Unfortunately, urban/rural status is not available for the ACS samples. As an approximation, you could use the METRO variable for the years 2005-2013 to identify if a household is urban (in a metro area) or rural (not in a metro area). However, a nontrivial number of households have an unidentifiable metro status. Another alternative is to use the MABLE/GeoCorr tool, where you can generate a table of each PUMA and its associated urban-rural portion. You could then merge this PUMA-level data on to your IPUMS data. Ultimately, the decision of how best to identify urban/rural areas is up to the individual researcher.

Hope this helps.