(The table presented here is a reprint of table 61 from Final Report PC(1)-B1, General Population Characteristics, United States Summary, which contains additional summary information on general characteristics of the population as well as more detailed technical explanations)
In 1970, only about one-quarter of the population of the United States lived in rural areas. On a regional basis, the rural proportion was highest in the South (over one-third) and lowest in the West (one-sixth). In only nine States did rural residents outnumber urban residents. The percentages rural were greatest in Vermont (68 percent) and West Virginia (61 percent); in the seven other states–North and South Dakota, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alaska–the percentages ranged between 50 and 56. The two States with the lowest rural proportions were New Jersey (11 percent) and Rhode Island (13 percent).
Slightly less than one-fifth of the Negro population lived in rural territory in 1970 and more than nine-tenths of this population lived in the South. In the South, however, only one-third of the Negro population was rural and in only three States in that region–North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi–did Negroes in rural areas outnumber those in urban territory.
Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.