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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Rural migration, agriculture and rural development

Flavio Bolliger

There is no internationally accepted definition of ‘rural areas’. Heterogeneity in the characteristics of rural areas across countries complicates attempts to reduce the differences in national definitions and to harness them to some common criteria. In most cases rural areas are set as equivalent to non-urban areas. A lack of consistency in definition hinders comparability of rural indicators across countries and reduces usefulness of indicators for national governments.

The outline don't adress this problem.

I refer to the on going research topic of the Global Strategy improving Agricultural and Rural Statistics - GSARS entitled "Improving Rural Statistics". The objective of this research topic is to develop a framework and cost-effective methods to help countries produce rural statistics, including a proposal for an international definition of rural areas and degrees of rurality for statistical purposes. (see

The project has been collaborating with other international institutions (WB, OECD, JRC, and EUROSTAT) that are working on a degree of urbanization ( to ensure a consistent definition of urban and rural areas. (See also