Rural vs Urban: Difference and Comparison

Rural areas are those geographical areas that are not located near towns. In most cases, they are known as farming areas. It is the opposite of urban areas, which are characterized by buildings and where people work and live.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Low population density, open landscapes, and a strong emphasis on agriculture and natural resources characterize rural areas. High population density, built-up environments, and diverse economic activities characterize urban areas.
  2. Urban areas generally offer a wider range of amenities, services, and job opportunities than rural areas, resulting in different lifestyles and economic opportunities for residents.
  3. Infrastructure, such as transportation, communication networks, and utilities, tends to be more developed and extensive in urban areas. In contrast, rural areas may need help accessing these resources due to lower population density and greater distances between communities.

Rural vs Urban

Scattered villages with open spaces and natural plantations characterize rural areas. The population density in these areas is low. The primary source of income in rural settings is farming.

Urban settings are man-made environments which are populated. Towns and suburban areas are also classified as urban areas. Urban centres are populated, and chances are that there are better employment opportunities.

Rural vs Urban

One major difference between rural and urban is that; rural areas are less populated. Urban settings are densely populated.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonUrbanRural
LifeUrban life is fast and involvingLife in rural areas is relaxed and simple
IncludeUrban areas include cities and townsRural areas include villages and smaller settlements (hamlets)
DefinitionAn area where people work and live. It is highly populated and possesses features of an established environment.The area is located away from towns and cities.
Associated withUrban settings are associated with trade, commerce or the provision of services (Non-agricultural work)Rural areas are associated with agriculture and livestock
EnvironmentUrban areas are secluded from natureRural areas are in direct contact with nature
DevelopmentUrban areas have settlement plans in place. Developments in these areas occur depending on urbanization and industrialization.These areas develop at random, depending on the availability of natural plants.
Social MobilityIt is highly intensiveIt is less intensive
Division of labourDivision of labour is always available during the allotment of the jobThere is no division of labour
Size of PopulationUrban centres are densely populatedRural settings are scarcely populated


What is Rural Area

A rural area is an open environment with vast tracts of land, few homes, and other buildings. In rural areas, the population is deficient. Homes and businesses are located a few miles from each other.

In most rural areas, agriculture is the main economic activity. Most of the rural area inhabitants live or work on farms. People and buildings are absent, but the presence of wildlife is constant.

Life in these areas is simple as people can meet and interact more often. Rural residents are often seen as peasants, rustic, and isolated.

Rural Area 1

What is Urban Area?

A built-up area or urban area is a human-inhabited area.

The area is highly populated and features characteristics of a built environment. Urban areas are highly developed with human structures like commercial buildings and roads.

Lifestyle in urban areas is stereotyped in most cases. It’s presumed to be more hectic and moves at a fast speed compared to rural life. Urban centres are significant because getting development right creates job opportunities.

They also improve the living standards of residents and increase economic growth.

Urban Area

Main Differences Between Rural and Urban

Occupation Mobility

There are many occupations in the city. As such, there is occupation mobility in urban areas is continuous. In rural areas, the scope for occupational mobility is shallow.

General Life

In urban areas, life is complex, and many activities must be done. It is also not straightforward. In rural areas, life is straightforward. It is reflected in the way people live, dress, shelter, and many other things.

Social Status

People in urban areas do not enjoy the same social status. They belong to different social class, religion and their cultures are different. In rural areas, people within the community are similar.

They, therefore, enjoy the same (less or more) social status.

Hold of the family

In urban areas, the hold of the family isn’t compact. Institutions and other organizations have taken away the many functions of the family. In rural areas, the family’s hold is firm because the family is in control of almost everything.


In rural areas, there is no need for social adaptability because life isn’t fast. In urban areas, life is changing very fast. As such, there is a need for fast mobility and adaptability.

Division of labour

In rural settings, there is no division of labour. In urban settings, there is a division of labour and specialization in job distribution.


Culture is deeply rooted and respected in rural areas. Almost everyone loves culture and cultural heritage more than anything else. In urban cities, it isn’t easy to find a pure culture. There is a mix of races, each with its own culture and taboos.


Urban centres provide employment and incentives. It is one reason that has stimulated rural-urban migration. In rural areas, there are zero chances of providing employment and incentives.

Difference Between Rural and Urban
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