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Rural-Urban Commuting Area Codes

Metadata Updated: January 3, 2024

The rural-urban commuting area codes (RUCA) classify U.S. census tracts using measures of urbanization, population density, and daily commuting from the decennial census.

The most recent RUCA codes are based on data from the 2000 decennial census. The classification contains two levels. Whole numbers (1-10) delineate metropolitan, micropolitan, small town, and rural commuting areas based on the size and direction of the primary (largest) commuting flows. These 10 codes are further subdivided to permit stricter or looser delimitation of commuting areas, based on secondary (second largest) commuting flows. The approach errs in the direction of more codes, providing flexibility in combining levels to meet varying definitional needs and preferences.

The 1990 codes are similarly defined. However, the Census Bureau's methods of defining urban cores and clusters changed between the two censuses. And, census tracts changed in number and shapes. The 2000 rural-urban commuting codes are not directly comparable with the 1990 codes because of these differences.

An update of the Rural-Urban Commuting Area Codes is planned for late 2013.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: Creative Commons CCZero

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date November 10, 2020
Metadata Updated Date January 3, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from USDA JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 10, 2020
Metadata Updated Date January 3, 2024
Publisher Economic Research Service, Department of Agriculture
Identifier USDA-ERS-00086
Data First Published 2019-10-24
Data Last Modified 2019-10-24
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 005:13
Metadata Context
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Data Dictionary
Harvest Object Id a785fb96-f72e-4051-a71c-fc5abe6a5722
Harvest Source Id d3fafa34-0cb9-48f1-ab1d-5b5fdc783806
Harvest Source Title USDA JSON
Homepage URL
Old Spatial United States
Program Code 005:041
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 9bf9dfe67234b906505b3529b8e2e524a6567457320fc417af0c9e12d90ae225
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":-124.733253,24.544245,-124.733253,49.388611,-66.954811,49.388611,-66.954811,24.544245,-124.733253,24.544245}

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