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Release: Rural-Urban Census Analysis, Rural-Urban Analysis

Released: 22 November 2013


Richard Prothero

Crime, Regional and Data Access Division

Telephone: +44 (0)1329 447 825

Categories: Population, People and Places, Housing and Households, Ageing, Population Change, Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Disability and Self-reported Health

Frequency of release: Ad-hoc

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Country, Region, Rural and urban

Survey name(s): Census

  • In 2011 81.5 per cent of the usually resident population lived in urban areas of England and Wales. Of the 18.5 per cent of the population that lived in rural areas, 9.1 per cent lived in ‘Rural town and fringe’ areas, 5.7 per cent lived in ‘Rural villages’ and 3.5 per cent in ‘Rural hamlets and isolated dwellings’. 

  • Residents in rural areas had an older age profile than those in urban areas. The median age of rural areas rose from 42 to 45 between 2001 and 2011, while the median age of urban areas increased from 36 to 37.

  • Overall, residents in rural areas were more likely than those in urban areas to be:

         - White
         - Christian
         - Of ‘Very good’ or ‘Good’ health
         - Owner Occupiers

This report provides an insight into the characteristics of urban and rural areas in England and Wales in 2011. The information is derived from the 2011 Census and is presented for a variety of census topics. Where possible, comparisons are made with the 2001 Census.

For more information about the rural-urban classification and for Census data, see the following links:

  1. 2011 Rural-Urban Classification on the ONS Open Geography Portal

  2. 2001 Rural-Urban Classification on the ONS website

  3. 2011 Census data on the Nomis website

  4. 2001 Census data on the ONS website

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.