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How should we define "Rural"?

Question asked by jcaufield Employee on Apr 26, 2017
Latest reply on May 4, 2017 by paul.acosta

Seems like a simple question - on the surface - but the issue of a clear definition is key to addressing problems & issues. 

 

I pose this question because the U.S. federal government has 15 different definitions for "Rural" (link from the Washington Post (2013))  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-federal-definition-of-rural--times-15/2013/06/08/a39e46a8-cd4a-11e2-ac03-178510c9cc0a_story.html?utm_term=.bc40187292b4 .

 

In the NFPA report on Mitigation of the Rural Fire Problem (Gamache, S., Hall, J.R., Aherns, M., Penney, G., & Kirtley, E., 2007) the standard from the U.S. Census Bureau is applied (<2,500 population).  PDF attached.

 

How  do you define rural?  Should we use population, population density, or some other measure?  Before we can work on addressing the issue of the rural fire problem, we must have a clear definition so we can frame our discussions.

 

I'm curious to hear from our Canadian colleagues on this issue.

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