What Is a Rural Settlement?

Written by melissa warner
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The United States Department of Agriculture has many programs that assist those living in rural settlements. In order to utilise these programs, it is important to understand what a rural settlement is.

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Definitions

Depending on the study and government agency, most organisations have their own definition. The most commonly used definition is the one from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census

The U.S. Census Bureau says a rural settlement is any area with a population smaller than 2,500 people. It defines an urban cluster as any area with a population between 2,500 and 50,000.

Characteristics

Rural settlements often depend on larger metropolitan areas for grocery and department stores as well as restaurants and other services. However, rural settlements often have their own police and fire brigades and education system.

Independence

Those living in rural settlements must depend on themselves for food and general living needs. The closest town is often miles away.

Environment

Rural settlements thrive off agriculture and nature, so it is important that rural settlements are developed around areas with a healthy natural environment.

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