Evolving Regional Analytics in a Rural World

Alan T. Murray, Anthony Grubesic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Regions are important and invariably constitute largely rural areas. This being the case, it is interesting to find that the condition of being rural fluctuates significantly, especially in the United States, and is largely contingent upon federal definitions that consider population and proximity to metropolitan areas for delineating the geographic boundaries of a rural place. Variations in definitions, both nuanced and more substantial, make classification mutable for many communities but underlies the challenge for evaluating, understanding, and improving rural conditions. This is particularly true when conducting exploratory and confirmatory analysis based on indicators and methods that identify/monitor troubled rural areas as well as support assessment of aid programs and/or public policy. The purpose of this article is to review alternative definitions of rural within the context of interpretation that relies on indicators. This highlights a number of issues, as conditions of rural polymorphism make scientific assessment challenging in many ways. Empirical evidence of indicator impacts is offered through a study of the medically uninsured in the state of Kentucky, highlighting how this can alter planning and policy interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Regional Science Review
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • indicators
  • methods
  • rural
  • spatial analysis
  • uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


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