U.S. Census Bureau redefines “urban”

Williston, Florida
Williston, Florida (Shutterstock)

More than 1,100 American cities, towns, and villages lost their status as urban areas Thursday when the U.S. Census Bureau changed the classification criteria.

A community now needs at least 5,000 residents to be considered urban — double the number required during the 2020 Census. The previous threshold had stood for over a century. The bureau also added to its definition, now classifying any area with at least 2,000 housing units as urban. About 4.2 million people now live in rural areas that used to be recognized as urban.

How will this impact communities? Rural and urban communities are eligible for different types of federal funding for housing, health care, transportation, education, and agriculture projects.

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Though the federal government does not have a standard definition for urban or rural, the Census Bureau’s definition is regularly used as a threshold for grant availability.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2022, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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Trying to avoid sounding like I wear a tinfoil hat, but this seems suspiciously like the government doesn’t like supporting the expansion of rural areas into incorporated towns and cities. Will this also reduce the amount of taxpayer monies that get returned to the states that have a greater number of small towns?

If I’m not mistaken, most of the flyover states are made up of mostly small towns or cities that will no longer be considered slowly expanding ‘urban’ centers and they’ll have to do without any return of those tax dollars because they’ve been changed to rural designations.