Researching and understanding regional population, economic, and other trends are often studied based on metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, as defined by counties within the US. The characterization of counties into metropolitan and non-metropolitan classifications is sometimes referred to as Urbanicity.
Resonate reports on Urbanicity based on the USDA’s Rural-Urban Continuum Codes that distinguishes metropolitan counties by the population size of their metro area, and non-metropolitan counties by degree of urbanization and adjacency to a metropolitan area. The USDA classifies counties into three metropolitan and six non-metropolitan categories with each county in the U.S. being assigned one of the 9 codes. This definitional scheme allows researchers to break county data into finer groups beyond metropolitan and non-metropolitan, particularly for the analysis of trends in non-metropolitan areas that are often related to population density and metropolitan influence.
Resonate’s reporting of Urbanicity is rooted in an understanding of the location of our survey panelists. While we do not directly report on this location, this serves as the basis through which we map the population to counties across the country. These counties are then classified against the USDA’s Rural-Urban Continuum and reported as Urbanicity within the Resonate platform.