Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification

Defining Scotland by Rurality rural

The Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification provides a standard definition of rural areas in Scotland. This classification is updated every two years to incorporate the most recent Small Area Population Estimates (SAPE) produced by National Records of Scotland (NRS) and Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF).

NRS Small Area Population Estimates (SAPE) together with information from the Royal Mail Postcode Address File ( PAF) were used to classify 2010 postcode units as high or low density. This information was then used to identify areas of contiguous high density postcodes with a population of 500 or more that make up a Settlement. Details of the methodology used for the Mid-2010 Population Estimates for Settlements can be found at Mid 2010 population estimates for settlements.

The publication includes background information and guidance on the use of the classification and also the geographic information to allow organisations to use the classification. The classification distinguishes between urban, rural and remote areas within Scotland.

The latest datasets, shape files and maps have been published.

Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification Breakdowns

The classification is available in a number of forms, depending on your requirements.

 

Scottish Government 2 fold Urban Rural Classification

1 Urban Areas
Settlements of over 3,000 people
2 Rural Areas
Settlements of less than 3,000 people
 

Scottish Government 3 fold Urban Rural Classification

1 Rest of Scotland
Settlements of over 3,000 people
2 Accessible Rural
Settlements of less than 3,000 people and within 30 mins drive of a settlement of 10,000 or more.
3 Remote Rural
Settlements of less than 3,000 people and within a drive time of over 30 mins to a settlement of 10,000 or more.
 

Scottish Government 6 fold Urban Rural Classification

1 Large Urban Areas

Settlements of over 125,000 people.

2 Other Urban Areas

Settlements of 10,000 to 125,000 people.

3 Accessible Small Towns

Settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000 people and within 30 minutes drive of a settlement of 10,000 or more.

4 Remote Small Towns

Settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000 people and with a drive time of over 30 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.

5 Accessible Rural

Areas with a population of less than 3,000 people, and within a 30 minute drive time of a settlement of 10,000 or more.

6 Remote Rural

Areas with a population of less than 3,000 people, and with a drive time of over 30 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.



 

Scottish Government 8 fold Urban Rural Classification

1 Large Urban Areas

Settlements of over 125,000 people.

2 Other Urban Areas

Settlements of 10,000 to 125,000 people.

3 Accessible small Towns

Settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000 people and within 30 minutes drive of a settlement of 10,000 or more.

4 Remote Small Towns

Settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000 people and with a drive time of over 30 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.

5 Very Remote Small Towns

Settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000 people and with a drive time of over 60 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.

6 Accessible Rural

Areas with a population of less than 3,000 people, and within a 30 minute drive time of a settlement of 10,000 or more.

7 Remote Rural

Areas with a population of less than 3,000 people, and with a drive time of over 30 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.

8 Very Remote Rural

Areas with a population of less than 3,000 people, and with a drive time of over 60 minutes to a settlement of 10,000 or more.


Publications

Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2011-2012
Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2009-2010
Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2007-2008
Scottish Executive Urban Rural Classification 2005-2006
Scottish Executive Urban Rural Classification 2003-2004

Related Publications

Use and Understanding of the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification

Contacts

If you have any questions on the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification please contact the Geographic Information Science & Analysis Team at the Scottish Government on 0131 244 0799 or at Kate.Trafford@scotland.gsi.gov.uk