Most rural counties in Ohio

Ohio

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A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Ohio using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2019 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn’t an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

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#50. Auglaize County

– Rural area: 95.9% (385 square miles)
– Urban area: 4.1% (16 square miles)
– Total land area: 401 square miles
— #79 largest county in state, #2,517 nationwide

– Population density: 113.9 people / square mile (45,729 residents)
— #41 lowest density county in state, #2,346 nationwide

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#49. Defiance County

– Rural area: 96.2% (396 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.8% (16 square miles)
– Total land area: 411 square miles
— #62 largest county in state, #2,457 nationwide

– Population density: 92.7 people / square mile (38,160 residents)
— #30 lowest density county in state, #2,199 nationwide

User:OHWiki // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Crawford County

– Rural area: 96.2% (387 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.8% (15 square miles)
– Total land area: 402 square miles
— #78 largest county in state, #2,512 nationwide

– Population density: 104.1 people / square mile (41,821 residents)
— #38 lowest density county in state, #2,288 nationwide

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#47. Pickaway County

– Rural area: 96.5% (484 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.5% (18 square miles)
– Total land area: 501 square miles
— #25 largest county in state, #2,074 nationwide

– Population density: 115.2 people / square mile (57,762 residents)
— #42 lowest density county in state, #2,348 nationwide

Mark Spearman from Newark, Ohio, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Knox County

– Rural area: 96.6% (507 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.4% (18 square miles)
– Total land area: 525 square miles
— #21 largest county in state, #1,990 nationwide

– Population density: 117.0 people / square mile (61,481 residents)
— #43 lowest density county in state, #2,356 nationwide

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#45. Shelby County

– Rural area: 96.6% (394 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.4% (14 square miles)
– Total land area: 408 square miles
— #68 largest county in state, #2,481 nationwide

– Population density: 119.6 people / square mile (48,749 residents)
— #45 lowest density county in state, #2,366 nationwide

Bwsmith84 // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Belmont County

– Rural area: 96.6% (514 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.4% (18 square miles)
– Total land area: 532 square miles
— #18 largest county in state, #1,963 nationwide

– Population density: 127.8 people / square mile (68,024 residents)
— #48 lowest density county in state, #2,395 nationwide

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#43. Scioto County

– Rural area: 96.9% (592 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.1% (19 square miles)
– Total land area: 610 square miles
— #8 largest county in state, #1,586 nationwide

– Population density: 124.6 people / square mile (76,040 residents)
— #46 lowest density county in state, #2,384 nationwide

David Wilson // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Athens County

– Rural area: 97.0% (488 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.0% (15 square miles)
– Total land area: 504 square miles
— #24 largest county in state, #2,065 nationwide

– Population density: 130.9 people / square mile (65,917 residents)
— #50 lowest density county in state, #2,401 nationwide

Wiki Historian N OH // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Union County

– Rural area: 97.0% (419 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.0% (13 square miles)
– Total land area: 432 square miles
— #45 largest county in state, #2,349 nationwide

– Population density: 131.3 people / square mile (56,707 residents)
— #51 lowest density county in state, #2,404 nationwide

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#40. Huron County

– Rural area: 97.0% (477 square miles)
– Urban area: 3.0% (15 square miles)
– Total land area: 491 square miles
— #27 largest county in state, #2,115 nationwide

– Population density: 118.7 people / square mile (58,339 residents)
— #44 lowest density county in state, #2,363 nationwide

Roger O. Young // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Washington County

– Rural area: 97.1% (614 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.9% (18 square miles)
– Total land area: 632 square miles
— #5 largest county in state, #1,514 nationwide

– Population density: 95.6 people / square mile (60,426 residents)
— #32 lowest density county in state, #2,223 nationwide

Darren56brown // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Fulton County

– Rural area: 97.2% (394 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.8% (11 square miles)
– Total land area: 405 square miles
— #74 largest county in state, #2,497 nationwide

– Population density: 104.2 people / square mile (42,253 residents)
— #39 lowest density county in state, #2,290 nationwide

Mike Sharp // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Ross County

– Rural area: 97.5% (672 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.5% (17 square miles)
– Total land area: 689 square miles
— #2 largest county in state, #1,358 nationwide

– Population density: 111.7 people / square mile (76,948 residents)
— #40 lowest density county in state, #2,333 nationwide

Photo shot by Derek Jensen (Tysto) // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Logan County

– Rural area: 97.7% (448 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.4% (11 square miles)
– Total land area: 458 square miles
— #38 largest county in state, #2,233 nationwide

– Population density: 98.9 people / square mile (45,316 residents)
— #34 lowest density county in state, #2,245 nationwide

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Bwsmith84 // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Clinton County

– Rural area: 97.7% (399 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.3% (10 square miles)
– Total land area: 409 square miles
— #64 largest county in state, #2,470 nationwide

– Population density: 102.7 people / square mile (41,957 residents)
— #36 lowest density county in state, #2,275 nationwide

Ndutro // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Seneca County

– Rural area: 97.9% (540 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.1% (11 square miles)
– Total land area: 551 square miles
— #16 largest county in state, #1,896 nationwide

– Population density: 100.5 people / square mile (55,351 residents)
— #35 lowest density county in state, #2,256 nationwide

Derek Jensen (Tysto) // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Van Wert County

– Rural area: 98.0% (401 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.0% (8 square miles)
– Total land area: 409 square miles
— #63 largest county in state, #2,467 nationwide

– Population density: 69.1 people / square mile (28,261 residents)
— #16 lowest density county in state, #1,965 nationwide

Christopher L. Riley // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Williams County

– Rural area: 98.0% (413 square miles)
– Urban area: 2.0% (8 square miles)
– Total land area: 421 square miles
— #53 largest county in state, #2,405 nationwide

– Population density: 87.5 people / square mile (36,816 residents)
— #25 lowest density county in state, #2,155 nationwide

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#31. Guernsey County

– Rural area: 98.1% (512 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.9% (10 square miles)
– Total land area: 522 square miles
— #22 largest county in state, #1,997 nationwide

– Population density: 74.9 people / square mile (39,111 residents)
— #20 lowest density county in state, #2,037 nationwide

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#30. Ashland County

– Rural area: 98.1% (415 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.9% (8 square miles)
– Total land area: 423 square miles
— #49 largest county in state, #2,397 nationwide

– Population density: 126.6 people / square mile (53,536 residents)
— #47 lowest density county in state, #2,393 nationwide

Derek Jensen // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Madison County

– Rural area: 98.2% (457 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.8% (9 square miles)
– Total land area: 466 square miles
— #35 largest county in state, #2,209 nationwide

– Population density: 94.7 people / square mile (44,135 residents)
— #31 lowest density county in state, #2,215 nationwide

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#28. Preble County

– Rural area: 98.3% (417 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.7% (7 square miles)
– Total land area: 424 square miles
— #48 largest county in state, #2,388 nationwide

– Population density: 96.9 people / square mile (41,093 residents)
— #33 lowest density county in state, #2,236 nationwide

Bwsmith84 // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Fayette County

– Rural area: 98.3% (400 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.7% (7 square miles)
– Total land area: 406 square miles
— #71 largest county in state, #2,493 nationwide

– Population density: 70.4 people / square mile (28,620 residents)
— #19 lowest density county in state, #1,986 nationwide

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#26. Brown County

– Rural area: 98.4% (482 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.6% (8 square miles)
– Total land area: 490 square miles
— #29 largest county in state, #2,125 nationwide

– Population density: 88.9 people / square mile (43,572 residents)
— #28 lowest density county in state, #2,169 nationwide

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#25. Carroll County

– Rural area: 98.5% (389 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.5% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 395 square miles
— #84 largest county in state, #2,550 nationwide

– Population density: 69.3 people / square mile (27,332 residents)
— #17 lowest density county in state, #1,970 nationwide

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Jackson County

– Rural area: 98.5% (414 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.5% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 420 square miles
— #54 largest county in state, #2,409 nationwide

– Population density: 77.2 people / square mile (32,450 residents)
— #21 lowest density county in state, #2,063 nationwide

Eric Lochtefeld // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Mercer County

– Rural area: 98.6% (456 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.4% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 462 square miles
— #36 largest county in state, #2,221 nationwide

– Population density: 88.4 people / square mile (40,884 residents)
— #27 lowest density county in state, #2,166 nationwide

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Pike County

– Rural area: 98.6% (434 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.4% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 440 square miles
— #44 largest county in state, #2,304 nationwide

– Population density: 63.6 people / square mile (28,000 residents)
— #10 lowest density county in state, #1,897 nationwide

Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Champaign County

– Rural area: 98.7% (423 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.3% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 429 square miles
— #47 largest county in state, #2,368 nationwide

– Population density: 90.6 people / square mile (38,845 residents)
— #29 lowest density county in state, #2,184 nationwide

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#20. Henry County

– Rural area: 98.7% (411 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.3% (5 square miles)
– Total land area: 416 square miles
— #57 largest county in state, #2,428 nationwide

– Population density: 65.4 people / square mile (27,208 residents)
— #13 lowest density county in state, #1,915 nationwide

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Darke County

– Rural area: 98.7% (591 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.3% (8 square miles)
– Total land area: 598 square miles
— #9 largest county in state, #1,632 nationwide

– Population density: 86.1 people / square mile (51,513 residents)
— #23 lowest density county in state, #2,142 nationwide

Christopher L. Riley // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Hardin County

– Rural area: 98.8% (465 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.2% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 470 square miles
— #32 largest county in state, #2,191 nationwide

– Population density: 66.8 people / square mile (31,425 residents)
— #14 lowest density county in state, #1,935 nationwide

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Coshocton County

– Rural area: 98.8% (557 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.2% (7 square miles)
– Total land area: 564 square miles
— #13 largest county in state, #1,826 nationwide

– Population density: 64.9 people / square mile (36,585 residents)
— #12 lowest density county in state, #1,910 nationwide

User:OHWiki // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Wyandot County

– Rural area: 98.9% (402 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.1% (5 square miles)
– Total land area: 407 square miles
— #69 largest county in state, #2,488 nationwide

– Population density: 54.1 people / square mile (22,000 residents)
— #9 lowest density county in state, #1,757 nationwide

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Kurt Tarvis // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Gallia County

– Rural area: 98.9% (461 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.1% (5 square miles)
– Total land area: 467 square miles
— #34 largest county in state, #2,206 nationwide

– Population density: 64.5 people / square mile (30,088 residents)
— #11 lowest density county in state, #1,907 nationwide

Christopher L. Riley // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Perry County

– Rural area: 98.9% (404 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.1% (4 square miles)
– Total land area: 408 square miles
— #67 largest county in state, #2,480 nationwide

– Population density: 88.3 people / square mile (36,022 residents)
— #26 lowest density county in state, #2,165 nationwide

Aesopposea // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Highland County

– Rural area: 98.9% (547 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.1% (6 square miles)
– Total land area: 553 square miles
— #15 largest county in state, #1,886 nationwide

– Population density: 77.8 people / square mile (43,016 residents)
— #22 lowest density county in state, #2,075 nationwide

Art Anderson // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Putnam County

– Rural area: 99.0% (478 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.0% (5 square miles)
– Total land area: 483 square miles
— #31 largest county in state, #2,150 nationwide

– Population density: 70.3 people / square mile (33,911 residents)
— #18 lowest density county in state, #1,983 nationwide

dankeck // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Hocking County

– Rural area: 99.0% (417 square miles)
– Urban area: 1.0% (4 square miles)
– Total land area: 421 square miles
— #52 largest county in state, #2,404 nationwide

– Population density: 67.4 people / square mile (28,390 residents)
— #15 lowest density county in state, #1,941 nationwide

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#10. Meigs County

– Rural area: 99.3% (427 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.7% (3 square miles)
– Total land area: 430 square miles
— #46 largest county in state, #2,364 nationwide

– Population density: 53.7 people / square mile (23,078 residents)
— #8 lowest density county in state, #1,750 nationwide

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Noble County

– Rural area: 99.3% (395 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.7% (3 square miles)
– Total land area: 398 square miles
— #82 largest county in state, #2,534 nationwide

– Population density: 36.2 people / square mile (14,416 residents)
— #4 lowest density county in state, #1,372 nationwide

Derek Jensen // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Morrow County

– Rural area: 99.4% (404 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.6% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 406 square miles
— #72 largest county in state, #2,494 nationwide

– Population density: 86.3 people / square mile (35,043 residents)
— #24 lowest density county in state, #2,143 nationwide

Myself // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Paulding County

– Rural area: 99.6% (415 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.5% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 416 square miles
— #55 largest county in state, #2,424 nationwide

– Population density: 45.2 people / square mile (18,809 residents)
— #6 lowest density county in state, #1,583 nationwide

Bwsmith84 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Harrison County

– Rural area: 99.6% (401 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 402 square miles
— #77 largest county in state, #2,511 nationwide

– Population density: 37.8 people / square mile (15,211 residents)
— #5 lowest density county in state, #1,418 nationwide

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#5. Holmes County

– Rural area: 99.6% (421 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 423 square miles
— #50 largest county in state, #2,399 nationwide

– Population density: 103.9 people / square mile (43,901 residents)
— #37 lowest density county in state, #2,286 nationwide

Aesopposea // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Adams County

– Rural area: 99.6% (582 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 584 square miles
— #10 largest county in state, #1,684 nationwide

– Population density: 47.6 people / square mile (27,776 residents)
— #7 lowest density county in state, #1,646 nationwide

Tim Kiser // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Morgan County

– Rural area: 99.6% (415 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.4% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 416 square miles
— #56 largest county in state, #2,425 nationwide

– Population density: 35.2 people / square mile (14,640 residents)
— #3 lowest density county in state, #1,343 nationwide

Bwsmith84// Wikimedia Commons

#2. Monroe County

– Rural area: 99.8% (455 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.3% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 456 square miles
— #40 largest county in state, #2,248 nationwide

– Population density: 30.6 people / square mile (13,942 residents)
— #1 lowest density county in state, #1,224 nationwide

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Vinton County

– Rural area: 100.0% (412 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 412 square miles
— #60 largest county in state, #2,450 nationwide

– Population density: 31.7 people / square mile (13,083 residents)
— #2 lowest density county in state, #1,263 nationwide

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