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Table 3 NCHS urban–rural classification scheme for counties

From: Diet-related chronic disease in the northeastern United States: a model-based clustering approach

Urbanization level Classification rule
Metropolitan counties
 Large central metro Populations of 1 million or more that
  1. Contain the entire population of the largest principal city, or
  2. Have their entire population contained in the largest principal city, or
  3. Contain at least 250,000 inhabitants of any principal city
 Large fringe metro Populations of 1 million or more that did not qualify as large central metro counties
 Medium metro Populations of 250,000–999, 999 
 Small metro Populations of 50,000–250,000
Non-metropolitan counties
 Micropolitan Populations of 10,000–49,999
 Noncore Populations less than 10,000