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Rural Wales – Definitions and how to choose between them

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  • Release date: 13 March 2008
A report what includes information on a range of definition options as there is no single definition of "Rural Wales" that applies for all purposes.

A common question for the Statistical Directorate is "what is rural Wales?" While the question is simple the answer has many facets. There are many sensible ways to consider rurality. The aim of the bulletin is to give an introduction to the range of options available and to help you make informed decisions about what sort of definition is appropriate for a particular task.

As a stating point for general statistics about people in "rural Wales" the bulletin includes an introduction to the National Statistics classification of settlement type and context.

Key points

  • There is no single definition that applies for all purposes. There are many options, which may be more or less appropriate in different circumstances.
  • Specifically, different definitions of rurality will be required when considering "rural people", "rural land" and "rural activities".
  • Also there may be different definitions depending on whether, for example, we want descriptive statistics where we can accept a degree of fuzziness and funding mechanisms where we cannot.


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