Skip Navigation

Central Distributor SID: Description of Data Elements
This section describes how HCUP data elements are coded, restrictions on their use, their uniform values, and State-specific coding practices.
 
PL_RUCC - Patient location: Rural-Urban Continuum (RUCC) Codes
 
Documentation Sections:
General Notes
Uniform Values
State Specific Notes
General Notes
 

Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCC) subdivides counties into 10 categories distinguished by population size in census-defined urbanized areas and by adjacency to metropolitan areas. To be adjacent, counties must be contiguous and have at least 2% of the resident labor force commuting to a central metropolitan county.

A county-based system such as RUCC, which attempts to describe the diversity in settlement patterns in a relatively large area by a single number, may not provide an accurate depiction. However, because county boundaries don't change much, every county will be represented by a measure, even after an extended period of time.

RUCC were developed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's, Economic Research Service, as a refinement of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) definition.

The name of this HCUP data element and the version of the categorization have changed over time:

  • Starting in 2014 HCUP databases, the classification of counties is based on the 2010 Census and the OMB 2013 Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) definitions.
  • Starting in the 2013 HCUP databases, the data element name is PL_RUCC.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, the data element name was PL_RUCC2003 and the classification of counties was based on the 2000 Census and the OMB 2003 CBSA definitions.
  • In 2002, the data element name was PL_RUCC and the classification of counties was based on the 1990 Census and the OMB 1993 Metropolitan definitions.
  • This information was not included on the HCUP databases prior to 2002.
 
Top
 
 
 
Uniform Values
 
VariableDescriptionValueValue Description
PL_RUCCPatient location: Rural-Urban Continuum (RUCC) Codes1Metropolitan areas of 1 million population or more
2Metropolitan areas of 250,000 to 1 million population
3Metropolitan areas of fewer than 250,000 population
4Urban population of 20,000 or more, adjacent to a metropolitan area
5Urban population of 20,000 or more, not adjacent to a metropolitan area
6Urban population of 2,500 to 19,999, adjacent to a metropolitan area
7Urban population of 2,500 to 19,999, not adjacent to a metropolitan area
8Completely rural or less than 2,500 urban population, adjacent to a metropolitan area
9Completely rural or less than 2,500 urban population, not adjacent to a metropolitan area
.Missing
 
Top
 
 
 
State Specific Notes

None

Top
 
 
 

Internet Citation: HCUP Central Distributor SID Description of Data Elements - All States. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). August 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/db/vars/siddistnote.jsp?var=pl_rucc.
Are you having problems viewing or printing pages on this Website?
If you have comments, suggestions, and/or questions, please contact hcup@ahrq.gov.
Privacy Notice, Viewers & Players
Last modified 8/12/08