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Abstract

In order to support rural policy making with appropriate information, alternative territorial breakdowns of statistics are necessary. This paper shows how the widely used criterion of 150 inhabitants per km² can be fine tuned to better account for local specific conditions, in particular high population densities. Alternative population density thresholds are confronted with local perceptions of rurality, aggregated in a rurality index. The method is illustrated for two regions that differ in urbanisation level. The rurality index not only increases the discriminatory power, but also helps to find a less erroneous and more robust proxy for international comparable breakdowns of statistics.

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