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Rural and Urban Definitions Update 2011 - RE0257

The Rural Urban Definition (RUD) was developed in 2004 by the Office for National Statistics, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Office for the Deputy Prime Minister (later the Department for Communities and Local Government), the Countryside Agency (later the Commission for Rural Communities) and the Welsh Government (WG). The Definition was based on the address counts used for the 2001 Population Census. Address data, which the 2011 Census was based on, is now available and outputs from the Census for rural and urban geographies are anticipated to be released in detail in February 2013. The Definition therefore needs to be updated.

In 2011, a small project group from ONS, Defra, DCLG and WG carried out some preliminary work to prepare for the update of the RUD. This included:

- A user consultation to establish users’ preferences around the updated Rural-Urban Definition
- Commissioning Ordnance Survey to develop the 2011 urban settlement polygons. (See RE0256)
The primary objective of this project is to review the methodology for the Rural-Urban Definition and to deliver an updated RUD dataset. The revised RUD must:
- Be compatible with the 2004 RUD. This means it will include all categories in the previous definition (morphology: urban , town and fringe, village, hamlet and isolated dwellings, and context: sparse and less sparse)
- Take into account the availability of data on residential delivery points (the Royal Mail’s postcode address file will be made available via a contractor license)
- Draw on the revised urban settlement polygons, produced by OS, provided to the successful contractor with no associated cost by mid October 2012
- Take into consideration key issues raised in response to the user consultation, as summarised in the approach and methodology section
- Be made available in shape and tab file format at hectare British National grid scale, Census Output Area, Lower Super Output Area, Middle Super Output Area and Census Area Statistics Ward level
- Include an updated technical report
- Conform to UK Location/ INSPIRE standards where possible with Gemini 2.1 associated metadata
- Be made available via the UK Location Infrastructure on
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2013

Cost: £61,934
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of Sheffield
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs