Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2007-2008

Data zone classification identifying urban and rural areas based on settlement size and drive times. Update on 2005-2006 publication.


The Office of the Chief Statistician is committed to continuing to improve the evidence base. Rural and Environment Analytical Services have been working with OCS to improve the rural evidence base.

The Scottish Government acknowledges that issues such as transport, education and health can have a particular impact on rural communities and seeks to reflect this in mainstream policy development. This classification aids in developing our understanding of the issues facing urban, rural and remote Scotland.

The Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification (version 2007-2008, which updates the 2005-2006 version) was first released in 2000 and is consistent with the Government's core definition of rurality which defines settlements of 3,000 or less people to be rural. It also classifies areas as remote based on drive times from settlements of 10,000 or more people. The definitions of urban and rural areas underlying the classification are unchanged.

The publication includes background information and guidance on the use of the classification and also the geographic information to allow analysts to use the classification in their research.

The wider dissemination and use of the classification will improve the evidence base on urban, rural and remote Scotland.

Office of the Chief Statistician
Scottish Government

August 2008

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