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At its most detailed, the Rural and Urban Postcode Classifications assign all areas in the UK to one of six rural, or four urban, settlement or context types. The classification facilitates analysis, including Census geographies and postcodes. It can be used in aggregated form to classify larger geographic areas to suit the level at which data are available, for example where Local Authority Districts need to classify rural and urban areas. We distinguish between rural and urban areas when analysing social and economic statistics not least because the following key factors can differ between rural areas and larger towns and cities:

  • Opportunities, challenges, and barriers for businesses
  • The services people receive
  • Quality of life
  • The makeup of businesses and populations: rural areas tend to have higher proportions of older people
  • Opinions on important topics