Rural Urban Suburban Codes
To better understand the comprehensiveness of this database, it is helpful to contrast it with other attempts to assign demographical areas. For instance, U.S. Census Bureau assigned much broader categories of urban vs. rural only. Therefore, in this more simplistic classification, suburban areas would be tagged as rural or urban only. Also, the Department of Defense established the following designations for a ZIP Code:
- Urban: 3,000+ persons per square mile
- Suburban: 1,000 ‐ 3,000 persons per square mile
- Rural: less than 1,000 persons per square mile
Although better, it is inadequate to use population alone because a lightly populated ZIP Code adjoining a major metropolitan area would be mistakenly classified as a “Rural Area”.
We created a more advanced and relevant database by factoring in additional information beyond urban vs. rural and one that includes the population of an adjoining city and the distance from nearest major city.
ZIP Codes that have no census population counts / estimates, such as military PO Boxes and areas like Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the South Pacific territories, are not designated with a Rural, Urban, or Suburban code.
Learn more: view the Product Documentation
/ Watch our Rural, Urban and Suburban video
/ Watch our Accuracy Matters video
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