Colombia - Rural population (% of total population)

Rural population (% of total population) in Colombia was 19.22 as of 2018. Its highest value over the past 58 years was 53.73 in 1960, while its lowest value was 19.22 in 2018.

Definition: Rural population refers to people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the difference between total population and urban population.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects: 2018 Revision.

See also:

Year Value
1960 53.73
1961 52.30
1962 50.86
1963 49.42
1964 47.97
1965 47.18
1966 46.41
1967 45.65
1968 44.88
1969 44.12
1970 43.37
1971 42.61
1972 41.86
1973 41.11
1974 40.39
1975 39.69
1976 39.00
1977 38.31
1978 37.62
1979 36.94
1980 36.26
1981 35.59
1982 34.93
1983 34.27
1984 33.61
1985 32.97
1986 32.43
1987 31.95
1988 31.47
1989 30.99
1990 30.52
1991 30.05
1992 29.59
1993 29.13
1994 28.67
1995 28.22
1996 27.78
1997 27.34
1998 26.90
1999 26.47
2000 26.04
2001 25.62
2002 25.20
2003 24.79
2004 24.38
2005 23.98
2006 23.58
2007 23.18
2008 22.80
2009 22.41
2010 22.04
2011 21.67
2012 21.30
2013 20.94
2014 20.59
2015 20.24
2016 19.89
2017 19.55
2018 19.22

Development Relevance: The rural population is calculated using the urban share reported by the United Nations Population Division. There is no universal standard for distinguishing rural from urban areas, and any urban-rural dichotomy is an oversimplification. The two distinct images - isolated farm, thriving metropolis - represent poles on a continuum. Life changes along a variety of dimensions, moving from the most remote forest outpost through fields and pastures, past tiny hamlets, through small towns with weekly farm markets, into intensively cultivated areas near large towns and small cities, eventually reaching the center of a megacity. Along the way access to infrastructure, social services, and nonfarm employment increase, and with them population density and income. A 2005 World Bank Policy Research Paper proposes an operational definition of rurality based on population density and distance to large cities (Chomitz, Buys, and Thomas 2005). The report argues that these criteria are important gradients along which economic behavior and appropriate development interventions vary substantially. Where population densities are low, markets of all kinds are thin, and the unit cost of delivering most social services and many types of infrastructure is high. Where large urban areas are distant, farm-gate or factory-gate prices of outputs will be low and input prices will be high, and it will be difficult to recruit skilled people to public service or private enterprises. Thus, low population density and remoteness together define a set of rural areas that face special development challenges. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. Rural population methodology is defined by various national statistical offices. In the United States, for example, the US Census Bureau's urban-rural classification is fundamentally a delineation of geographical areas, identifying both individual urban areas and the rural areas of the nation. "Rural" encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Rural population is calculated as the difference between the total population and the urban population. Rural population is approximated as the midyear nonurban population. While a practical means of identifying the rural population, it is not a precise measure. The United Nations Population Division and other agencies provide current population estimates for developing countries that lack recent census data and pre- and post-census estimates for countries with census data.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual


Topic: Environment Indicators

Sub-Topic: Density & urbanization