Those places — including Mount Hood Village, Boardman and Irrigon — joined more than 1,100 nationwide, with a combined 4.2 million residents, that are now rural areas according to the bureau.
Under the old criteria, an urbanized area needed to have at least 50,000 residents. An urban cluster was defined as having at least 2,500 people, a threshold that had been around since 1910.
After the revision in 2020, the minimum population required for an area to be considered urban doubled to 5,000 people or a minimum housing unit threshold of 2,000.
The full list of Oregon towns and villages to see their designation changed to rural area include:
- Gold Beach
- La Pine Northwest
- Mount Angel
- Mount Hood Village
- Shady Cove
The bureau originally proposed raising the bar to 10,000 people but pulled back amid opposition. The new criteria for urban areas shift the urban-rural ratio slightly, to 79.6% and 20.4%, respectively.
The Census Bureau’s new threshold could impact an area’s ability to qualify for different types of federal funding for transportation, housing, health care, education and agriculture in urban areas. While the federal government doesn’t have a standard definition of urban or rural, the Census Bureau’s definition often provides a baseline.