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Old 02/24/07, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,798
The most rural states are...

I heard this on a quiz show today.

The most rural state in the U.S., as defined by having the highest percentage of the population living outside of towns and cities, is...(it was a multiple choice question, and the choices were South Dakota, Vermont, or Montana)...


Second most rural state is Maine.

I thought it must be a western state, but I was wrong. Aren't you surprised?
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Old 02/24/07, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Willamette Valley, Or
Posts: 540

If the definition were based more on population/sq mile I am sure it would have been in the West. I grew up in the 2nd largest county in Oregon in area, 2nd smallest in population. The county itself covered more area than some Eastern states. Many western states have counties bigger than, whole states in the east. Those counties are usually very rural.
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Old 02/24/07, 05:02 PM
bugstabber's Avatar
Chief cook & weed puller
Join Date: May 2002
Location: South Dakota
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I'm not surprised. Sioux Falls is big and growing, Rapid City too. Most people work in town to make a living.
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Old 02/24/07, 05:57 PM
MaineFarmMom's Avatar
Columnist, Feature Writer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Maine
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Originally Posted by ajaxlucy

Second most rural state is Maine.

I thought it must be a western state, but I was wrong. Aren't you surprised?
Not even a little surprised. I live in a town of 70 residents, surrounded by nothing but lakes and thousands of acres of forest.
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Old 02/24/07, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NC/Blue Ridge foothills
Posts: 1,565
A few years North Carolina was the state with the second largest total number of rural people. I do not recall which state was first and I do not know how it would rank now.
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Old 02/24/07, 06:58 PM
Faustus's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine by way of Yorkshire
Posts: 502
I thought it must be a western state, but I was wrong. Aren't you surprised?
Not really, actually. A little surprised that, say, Wyoming wasn't one of them, but having driven through Vermont, it seemed like there was quite a bit of nothing (but very pretty nothing!) there. As a born and bred Mainer, our state is literally ninety percent forest, so I'm not very shocked on that one. Our cities are also very small, which I suspect impacts how they measured "ruralness." Then again, I don't know how big Cheyenne is, off the top of my head.

I didn't appreciate Maine's rural side when I was a kid growing up there, but once I moved away, I really missed the woods, the ocean and the space. It's a beautiful place to be from- wouldn't change my having grown up there for anywhere else, I don't think.
דעלך סני לחברך לא תעביד- זו היא כל התורה כולה, ואידך- פירושה הוא, זיל גמור.
-ר" הלל
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Old 02/24/07, 07:13 PM
highlands's Avatar
Walter Jeffries
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Mountains of Vermont, Zone 3
Posts: 9,395
This came up before. Apparently one of the criteria is the typical town size. There are _NO_ cities in Vermont according to their definition. We have no urban areas. The largest gathering of people is under 40,000 (Burlington, VT). Now personally, I consider that a city. Heck, I consider Barre, Montpelier, Rutland, St. J., Bennington, etc all to be cities. Our town has a population of under 1,000 so anything as big as those looks like city.

I like Vermont as is.


Sugar Mountain Farm
in the mountains of Vermont
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