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Rural / Urban PA

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The Center for Rural Pennsylvania’s definition of rural and urban is based on population density. Population density is calculated by dividing the total population of a specific area by the total number of square land miles of that area.

According to the 2010 Census, the population of Pennsylvania is 12,702,379 and the number of square miles of land in Pennsylvania is 44,743. Therefore, the population density is 284 persons per square mile.
 
County or school district definition
A county or school district is rural when the number of persons per square mile within the county or school district is less than 284. Counties and school districts that have 284 persons or more per square mile are considered urban.
(Note: The municipal definition of rural and urban will be available in 2013 with the release of urbanized data from the U.S. Census Bureau.) 

Applying the definition
According to the Center’s definition, Pennsylvania has 48 rural counties and 19 urban counties. In 2010, nearly 3.5 million residents, or 27 percent of the state’s 12.7 million residents, lived in a rural county.

At the school district level, 235 of the state’s 500 public school districts are rural. During the 2008-2009 school year, more than 458,300 public school students or 26 percent of the state’s nearly 1.79 million public school students, attended school in a rural district,

Population Density by County

Adams 196
Allegheny 1,676
Armstrong 106
Beaver 392
Bedford 49
Berks 480
Blair 242
Bradford 55
Bucks 1,035
Butler 233
Cambria 209
Cameron 13
Carbon 171
Centre 139
Chester 665
Clarion 67
Clearfield 71
Clinton 44
Columbia 139
Crawford 88
Cumberland 432
Dauphin 511
Delaware 3,041
Elk 39
Erie 351
Fayette 173
Forest 18
Franklin 194
Fulton 34
Greene 67
Huntingdon 52
Indiana 107
Jefferson 69
Juniata 63
Lackawanna 467
Lancaster 550
Lawrence 254
Lebanon 369
Lehigh 1,013
Luzerne 360
Lycoming 95
McKean 44
Mercer 173
Mifflin 114
Monroe 279
Montgomery 1,656
Montour 140
Northampton 805
Northumberland 206
Perry 83
Philadelphia 11,379
Pike 105
Potter 16
Schuylkill 190
Snyder 121
Somerset 72
Sullivan 14
Susquehanna 53
Tioga 37
Union 142
Venango 82
Warren 47
Washington 243
Wayne 73
Westmoreland 355
Wyoming 71
York 481

(Note: Underlined counties are rural.)


Rural/Urban Maps
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