Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) Development Project: Demographic Description and Frontier Enhancement

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project completed:
January 2005

There is considerable current debate and political lobbying about how to define frontier areas. Rural-Urban Commuting Areas (RUCAs) are a new census tract-based classification scheme that utilizes the standard Bureau of Census Urbanized Area (UA) and Urban Place (UP) definitions in combination with commuting information to characterize all the nation's census tracts regarding their rural and urban status and relationships. The codes are based on whether a Census tract is located in a UA or UP and on the destination of its largest and second largest commuting flows. The methods used to accomplish the demographic description of the RUCA codes involved standard cross-tabulation analysis of the code areas nationally, regionally, and by state.

This project augments the initial RUCA work by:

  • Producing and describing the base 1998 demography of the RUCA code areas.
  • Creating quality state maps of the RUCA codes.

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