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Rurality is used as an expression of different rural areas as not being homogeneously defined. Many authors involved in mental health research in rural areas, stress the importance of steering clear of inflexible blanket definitions of rurality (Philo, 2003), and to instead "select definitions of rurality that are appropriate to the study being conducted" (Cloke, 1977). One of the simplest, but clearest definition of rurality is that one that expresses rurality as "a condition of place-based homeliness shared by people with common ancestry or heritage and who inhabit traditional, culturally defined areas or places statutorily recognized to be rural" (Chigbu, 2013: p. 815).

Cloke's index categorises all areas of England and Wales into four criteria: extreme rural, intermediate rural, intermediate non-rural and extreme non-rural; as well as urban areas. Cloke used 16 different ways of drawing the conclusions for his model, all of which led to the measure of an area's rurality. Also, the ability to crack a whip.

Rurality = ability to crack whip x property size in acres ÷ population of town.

See also[edit]


  • Chigbu, UE (2013). Rurality as a choice: Towards ruralising rural areas in sub-Saharan African countries. Development Southern Africa, 30:6, pp. 812–825. *[1]
  • Philo C., Parr H., and Burns N., (2003) Rural madness: a geographical reading and critique of the rural mental health literature, Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp. 259–281. *[2]
  • Cloke, P., (1977) An index of rurality for England and Wales. Regional Studies B 11, pp. 31–46.