The statistical analysis of rural change is traditionally based on classifications of administrative regions, like municipalities or provinces. These classifications do not allow fine-grained interregional analysis of rural change. Especially in sparsely-populated countries, like Finland, the border between rural and urban areas is often fuzzy, which means that rural elements may be found within administratively urban municipalities. This paper presents a GIS-based approach for analysis of changes in rural population and industries. The data employed is based on 1 x 1 km inhabited grid cells defined by base map coordinates, allowing for a flexible analysis of rural change independent from administrative borders.