Monday, August 6, 2012

Rural Property Defined by the Beholder

Defining rural property is a term relative to the person or organization you're asking to define it. The United States Census, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and real estate professionals, for example, all have slightly different interpretations of what rural means in respect to their individual areas of coverage.

Real Estate Professionals

The most popular use for the term rural is when talking about the area where a piece of real estate is located. Rural property in this case is used to describe a home, vacant land or piece of real estate that is located in the country. The country is a less densely populated area than cities. When talking about rural property in this instance, it may also include agricultural or farming areas. In essence, rural is the direct opposite of the city or urban property.

United States Census Bureau

The Census Bureau offers its own set of definitions to describe rural property. Since the Census Bureau is involved in population statistics, it defines rural property areas in terms of population density. The U.S. Census Bureau states that rural property is such that there is open country and less than 2,500 residents populate the area. In terms of people per square mile, this equates to areas that have anywhere from one to 999 people per square mile of land.

United States Department of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the agency that oversees the Office of Rural Development, so it defines rural property by the thresholds of population an area meets. Therefore, the USDA and the Office of Rural Development define rural property as a city or town that has a population of less than 50,000 people.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Office of Management and Budget defines rural areas as those areas that fall outside of metropolitan areas. Rural areas are broken down further into areas that have clusters of people that range from 10,000 to 50,000 residents.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

The National Center for Education Statistics works in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget to classify areas by population in order to determine the educational needs of the area. One of the classifications is rural property, which is broken down further into those areas that are on the fringe of an urban area, distant rural properties and remote rural properties. Ultimately, the National Center for Education Statistics considers rural areas to be the areas that are outside of an urban.

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