Investigación en Geografía de la Salud

Traditionally, rural areas have been defined on the basis of number of inhabitants. However, a single variable does not adequately reflect such a complex concept as “rurality”. In addition, the population cut-off point used to discern rural and urban areas tends to be arbitrary and varies from one country to another.

DEMAP members have designed a rurality index for small areas in Spain (IRAP). For this purpose, population ageing, economic dependence, farming activities, decency of housing and population density have all been taken into account.

Each municipality has been assigned a number of points, enabling permanent grading of geographical areas, ranking from a lesser to a higher degree of rurality . Zero indicates average rurality.

This rurality index and subsequent up-dates are included in the Socio-demographic Interactive Atlas for SPAIN (AISE).



Please refer to the following papers for more details on methods and results:

R Ocaña-Riola, C Sánchez-Cantalejo. Rurality index for small areas in Spain. Social Indicators Research 2005; 73: 247-266.

E Prieto, R Ocaña-Riola. Updating rurality index for small areas in Spain. Social Indicators Research 2010; 95(2): 267-280.

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