It's predicted that by 2050, two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities. A once-agrarian planet is rapidly urbanizing, and America is no exception.
There was a time when most Americans lived in communities that by almost any measure could be called countrified. But today, much of the rural U.S. is hollowing out as young people flee to cities, death rates outnumber birth rates, sparsely populated towns age, metro suburbs expand, immigrants settle in densely populated areas, and so-called "new economy" jobs and wealth become concentrated almost exclusively in urban centers.
Still, more than 700 U.S. counties have 100% rural land, defined as the population, housing, and territory not contained within urbanized areas or clusters. "Urban" in this sense is considered an area with a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.
Stacker pulled data from the 2010 Census Urban and Rural Classification to compile a list of the most rural county in each state. This information—the most recent available, as the census only conducts this study every ten years—includes the total square mileage of each county's rural and urban space, the rural population, the overall county population, and population density in rural areas. Keep reading to discover your state's most rural locale.
You may also like: Best public high schools in America