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Rural areas are commonly characterized as large isolated regions in which there is a low ratio of inhabitants to open land. As numerous studies indicate, rural areas are difficult to define with great precision. While the transition from urban city to rural countryside is usually abrupt in low-income countries, it is much more gradual in high-income countries, making it difficult to define urban-rural boundaries. An additional challenge is that nations do not use the same statistical criteria for rural and urban populations because there is no consensus on such boundaries. For instance, in Japan, a population of fewer than 30,000 people is considered rural, whereas Albania classifies a group of more than 400 inhabitants as an urban population. The main economic activities associated with rural ...

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