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Describing a town or vicinity outside a major, metropolitan area. Rural areas have low population density. Most people in rural areas work in urban or suburban areas, but some still work in agricultural or energy producing industries. In the United States, living in a rural area can qualify one for some forms of government assistance, such as a USDA mortgage.
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Concerning the country. Contrast with urban or suburban.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The analysis shows that the telephone density and the GDP have a significant positive effect on the Internet diffusion rate and the extent of ruralization (urbanization) has a negative (positive) influence.
This increasing exclusion and ruralization of the Andeans was an entirely modern predicament, as it was based on postcolonial constructs of colonial and pre-hispanic privileges and practices.
Although orthodox Islam is well grounded in urban areas, the countryside is the domain of a rich folk-religion, replete with beliefs in the magical, miraculous and occult.(31) The influx of villagers into Egyptian cities and towns, which by the 1970s led increasingly to the "ruralization" of these centers, provided fertile fields for anti-modernist, fundamentalist movements.
The pattern of de-unionization and ruralization was regional.
Handicraft production continued beyond mid-century through the intensification of work, the ruralization of production with the ensuing reduction of wages, the introduction of mechanical innovations, and the division of tasks.
Clarke also makes an intriguing suggestion that the development of Somers Town represented a "ruralization of the town [London]" rather than an "urbanization" of the country.
Economically, the demise of the textile industry in Cuenca in the 1590s led to a ruralization of the region and an increase in the number of people in the agricultural sector, a pattern that persisted into the twentieth century.