Thursday, November 20, 2014

Defining "Rural"

I have a graduate student who is trying to define "rural". According to the Statistics Canada definition at <>, rural areas "include all territory lying outside population centres (POPCTRs)" POPCTRs are defined at <> as an area with a population of at least 1,000 and no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometer.

According to GeoSuite 2011, the 2011 population of the City of Prince George was 71,974 and the land area was 318.2579 square km. This would give it a population density of 226.15 people per sq. km. So, according to the above definition, the City of Prince George would be a rural area. Is my understanding correct? It seems counterintuitive, as the CSD type for Prince George is City, and it is the core of the Prince George CA.


As mentioned in the detailed definition of population centres available here: <> this statistical area was first delineated in 1961. (At the bottom of the above page). At the time, neither enumeration areas nor dissemination blocks were used for delineation. Urban areas then included all incorporated cities, towns and villages with a population of 1,000 persons or over. This explains why some of the current population centres have a population density inferior to 400 people per sq km. Building blocks at the time were not dissemination blocks but actual CSD boundaries."