Most rural counties in Alabama

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May 2, 2022
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Most rural counties in Alabama

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Alabama 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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Michael Rivera // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Dale County

- Rural area: 94.7% (531 square miles)
- Urban area: 5.3% (30 square miles)
- Total land area: 561 square miles
--- #63 largest county in state, #1,847 nationwide

- Population density: 87.8 people / square mile (49,277 residents)
--- #43 lowest density county in state, #2,161 nationwide

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Dailynetworks // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Colbert County

- Rural area: 95.5% (566 square miles)
- Urban area: 4.5% (26 square miles)
- Total land area: 593 square miles
--- #56 largest county in state, #1,649 nationwide

- Population density: 92.4 people / square mile (54,771 residents)
--- #47 lowest density county in state, #2,196 nationwide

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#48. St. Clair County

- Rural area: 96.2% (608 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.8% (24 square miles)
- Total land area: 632 square miles
--- #42 largest county in state, #1,515 nationwide

- Population density: 139.2 people / square mile (87,989 residents)
--- #54 lowest density county in state, #2,437 nationwide

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Rivers Langley SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Russell County

- Rural area: 96.3% (617 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.7% (24 square miles)
- Total land area: 641 square miles
--- #40 largest county in state, #1,483 nationwide

- Population density: 90.4 people / square mile (57,952 residents)
--- #45 lowest density county in state, #2,182 nationwide

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Chambers County

- Rural area: 96.5% (575 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.6% (21 square miles)
- Total land area: 597 square miles
--- #54 largest county in state, #1,641 nationwide

- Population density: 56.4 people / square mile (33,660 residents)
--- #38 lowest density county in state, #1,796 nationwide

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Cullman County

- Rural area: 96.6% (710 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.4% (25 square miles)
- Total land area: 735 square miles
--- #27 largest county in state, #1,204 nationwide

- Population density: 112.7 people / square mile (82,853 residents)
--- #50 lowest density county in state, #2,343 nationwide

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Autauga County

- Rural area: 96.7% (575 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.3% (20 square miles)
- Total land area: 594 square miles
--- #55 largest county in state, #1,644 nationwide

- Population density: 93.2 people / square mile (55,380 residents)
--- #48 lowest density county in state, #2,206 nationwide

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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Coffee County

- Rural area: 96.8% (657 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.2% (21 square miles)
- Total land area: 679 square miles
--- #33 largest county in state, #1,381 nationwide

- Population density: 76.1 people / square mile (51,662 residents)
--- #41 lowest density county in state, #2,049 nationwide

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#42. Walker County

- Rural area: 96.9% (766 square miles)
- Urban area: 3.1% (25 square miles)
- Total land area: 791 square miles
--- #20 largest county in state, #1,086 nationwide

- Population density: 81.0 people / square mile (64,110 residents)
--- #42 lowest density county in state, #2,103 nationwide

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Cherokee County

- Rural area: 98.2% (543 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.8% (10 square miles)
- Total land area: 554 square miles
--- #66 largest county in state, #1,877 nationwide

- Population density: 46.8 people / square mile (25,903 residents)
--- #33 lowest density county in state, #1,625 nationwide

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Kreeder13 // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Pike County

- Rural area: 98.2% (660 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.8% (12 square miles)
- Total land area: 672 square miles
--- #34 largest county in state, #1,399 nationwide

- Population density: 49.6 people / square mile (33,333 residents)
--- #36 lowest density county in state, #1,685 nationwide

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DXR // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Dallas County

- Rural area: 98.3% (962 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.7% (17 square miles)
- Total land area: 979 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #705 nationwide

- Population density: 40.0 people / square mile (39,149 residents)
--- #30 lowest density county in state, #1,468 nationwide

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#38. Macon County

- Rural area: 98.4% (599 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.6% (10 square miles)
- Total land area: 609 square miles
--- #48 largest county in state, #1,591 nationwide

- Population density: 30.7 people / square mile (18,708 residents)
--- #24 lowest density county in state, #1,227 nationwide

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Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Tallapoosa County

- Rural area: 98.5% (706 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.5% (11 square miles)
- Total land area: 717 square miles
--- #29 largest county in state, #1,260 nationwide

- Population density: 56.6 people / square mile (40,541 residents)
--- #39 lowest density county in state, #1,799 nationwide

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Springfieldohio // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Jackson County

- Rural area: 98.8% (1,065 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (13 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,078 square miles
--- #7 largest county in state, #590 nationwide

- Population density: 48.1 people / square mile (51,852 residents)
--- #35 lowest density county in state, #1,656 nationwide

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#35. Escambia County

- Rural area: 98.8% (934 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (11 square miles)
- Total land area: 945 square miles
--- #12 largest county in state, #746 nationwide

- Population density: 39.2 people / square mile (37,057 residents)
--- #29 lowest density county in state, #1,457 nationwide

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#34. Bibb County

- Rural area: 98.8% (615 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 623 square miles
--- #45 largest county in state, #1,550 nationwide

- Population density: 36.1 people / square mile (22,493 residents)
--- #26 lowest density county in state, #1,370 nationwide

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Franklin County

- Rural area: 98.9% (627 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.1% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 634 square miles
--- #41 largest county in state, #1,508 nationwide

- Population density: 49.6 people / square mile (31,466 residents)
--- #37 lowest density county in state, #1,686 nationwide

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Covington County

- Rural area: 99.0% (1,020 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (10 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,030 square miles
--- #8 largest county in state, #640 nationwide

- Population density: 36.1 people / square mile (37,200 residents)
--- #25 lowest density county in state, #1,368 nationwide

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#31. Chilton County

- Rural area: 99.0% (686 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 693 square miles
--- #31 largest county in state, #1,351 nationwide

- Population density: 63.6 people / square mile (44,055 residents)
--- #40 lowest density county in state, #1,896 nationwide

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#30. Bullock County

- Rural area: 99.2% (618 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.8% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 623 square miles
--- #44 largest county in state, #1,548 nationwide

- Population density: 16.5 people / square mile (10,248 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #781 nationwide

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Barbour County

- Rural area: 99.2% (878 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.8% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 885 square miles
--- #16 largest county in state, #901 nationwide

- Population density: 28.7 people / square mile (25,361 residents)
--- #22 lowest density county in state, #1,175 nationwide

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Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Randolph County

- Rural area: 99.3% (576 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 581 square miles
--- #57 largest county in state, #1,696 nationwide

- Population density: 39.0 people / square mile (22,647 residents)
--- #28 lowest density county in state, #1,453 nationwide

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Blount County

- Rural area: 99.4% (641 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 645 square miles
--- #38 largest county in state, #1,473 nationwide

- Population density: 89.5 people / square mile (57,681 residents)
--- #44 lowest density county in state, #2,175 nationwide

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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Marion County

- Rural area: 99.4% (738 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 742 square miles
--- #25 largest county in state, #1,187 nationwide

- Population density: 40.2 people / square mile (29,866 residents)
--- #31 lowest density county in state, #1,474 nationwide

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#25. Winston County

- Rural area: 99.4% (609 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 613 square miles
--- #47 largest county in state, #1,578 nationwide

- Population density: 38.8 people / square mile (23,784 residents)
--- #27 lowest density county in state, #1,448 nationwide

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Altairisfar // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Clarke County

- Rural area: 99.4% (1,231 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,238 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #492 nationwide

- Population density: 19.5 people / square mile (24,128 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #869 nationwide

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#23. DeKalb County

- Rural area: 99.4% (773 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 777 square miles
--- #23 largest county in state, #1,114 nationwide

- Population density: 91.8 people / square mile (71,310 residents)
--- #46 lowest density county in state, #2,188 nationwide

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Butler County

- Rural area: 99.5% (773 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 777 square miles
--- #24 largest county in state, #1,115 nationwide

- Population density: 25.5 people / square mile (19,828 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #1,088 nationwide

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#21. Marengo County

- Rural area: 99.5% (972 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 977 square miles
--- #11 largest county in state, #708 nationwide

- Population density: 19.8 people / square mile (19,321 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #887 nationwide

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Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Monroe County

- Rural area: 99.5% (1,021 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,026 square miles
--- #9 largest county in state, #645 nationwide

- Population density: 20.7 people / square mile (21,270 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #916 nationwide

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#19. Lawrence County

- Rural area: 99.5% (687 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 691 square miles
--- #32 largest county in state, #1,355 nationwide

- Population density: 47.9 people / square mile (33,058 residents)
--- #34 lowest density county in state, #1,651 nationwide

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#18. Fayette County

- Rural area: 99.6% (625 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 628 square miles
--- #43 largest county in state, #1,533 nationwide

- Population density: 26.3 people / square mile (16,494 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #1,102 nationwide

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Wmr36104 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Geneva County

- Rural area: 99.6% (572 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.4% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 574 square miles
--- #60 largest county in state, #1,734 nationwide

- Population density: 46.0 people / square mile (26,417 residents)
--- #32 lowest density county in state, #1,605 nationwide

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Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Hale County

- Rural area: 99.7% (642 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 644 square miles
--- #39 largest county in state, #1,477 nationwide

- Population density: 23.0 people / square mile (14,809 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #1,002 nationwide

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Henry County

- Rural area: 99.7% (560 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 562 square miles
--- #62 largest county in state, #1,841 nationwide

- Population density: 30.5 people / square mile (17,133 residents)
--- #23 lowest density county in state, #1,222 nationwide

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Conecuh County

- Rural area: 99.8% (848 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 850 square miles
--- #18 largest county in state, #978 nationwide

- Population density: 14.6 people / square mile (12,394 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #725 nationwide

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Cleburne County

- Rural area: 100.0% (560 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 560 square miles
--- #64 largest county in state, #1,852 nationwide

- Population density: 26.6 people / square mile (14,916 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #1,114 nationwide

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#12. Pickens County

- Rural area: 100.0% (881 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 881 square miles
--- #17 largest county in state, #906 nationwide

- Population density: 23.0 people / square mile (20,243 residents)
--- #17 lowest density county in state, #999 nationwide

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Myself - Nathon Morris // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Lamar County

- Rural area: 100.0% (605 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 605 square miles
--- #52 largest county in state, #1,607 nationwide

- Population density: 23.0 people / square mile (13,885 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #997 nationwide

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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Crenshaw County

- Rural area: 100.0% (609 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 609 square miles
--- #49 largest county in state, #1,593 nationwide

- Population density: 22.7 people / square mile (13,844 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #990 nationwide

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JNix // Shutterstock

#9. Clay County

- Rural area: 100.0% (604 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 604 square miles
--- #53 largest county in state, #1,614 nationwide

- Population density: 22.1 people / square mile (13,337 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #963 nationwide

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Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Coosa County

- Rural area: 100.0% (651 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 651 square miles
--- #36 largest county in state, #1,448 nationwide

- Population density: 16.5 people / square mile (10,757 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #784 nationwide

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Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Washington County

- Rural area: 100.0% (1,080 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 1,080 square miles
--- #6 largest county in state, #589 nationwide

- Population density: 15.3 people / square mile (16,541 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #746 nationwide

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#6. Sumter County

- Rural area: 100.0% (904 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 904 square miles
--- #14 largest county in state, #834 nationwide

- Population density: 14.2 people / square mile (12,797 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #714 nationwide

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RuralSWAlabama (Billy Milstead) // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Choctaw County

- Rural area: 100.0% (914 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 914 square miles
--- #13 largest county in state, #812 nationwide

- Population density: 14.1 people / square mile (12,925 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #713 nationwide

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Altairisfar // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Lowndes County

- Rural area: 100.0% (716 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 716 square miles
--- #30 largest county in state, #1,265 nationwide

- Population density: 14.1 people / square mile (10,079 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #710 nationwide

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#3. Perry County

- Rural area: 100.0% (720 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 720 square miles
--- #28 largest county in state, #1,245 nationwide

- Population density: 12.9 people / square mile (9,293 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #669 nationwide

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#2. Greene County

- Rural area: 100.0% (647 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 647 square miles
--- #37 largest county in state, #1,462 nationwide

- Population density: 12.9 people / square mile (8,324 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #666 nationwide

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#1. Wilcox County

- Rural area: 100.0% (888 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 888 square miles
--- #15 largest county in state, #894 nationwide

- Population density: 12.0 people / square mile (10,681 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #638 nationwide

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