Most rural counties in Indiana

Written by:
July 25, 2022
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Most rural counties in Indiana

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land-702, in fact. Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Indiana 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 2020 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. Blackford County

- Rural area: 97.3% (161 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.7% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 165 square miles
--- #89 largest county in state, #3,045 nationwide

- Population density: 72.2 people / square mile (11,926 residents)
--- #36 lowest density county in state, #2,004 nationwide

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#49. Marshall County

- Rural area: 97.4% (432 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.6% (11 square miles)
- Total land area: 444 square miles
--- #24 largest county in state, #2,293 nationwide

- Population density: 104.4 people / square mile (46,336 residents)
--- #56 lowest density county in state, #2,290 nationwide

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#48. Knox County

- Rural area: 97.6% (503 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.4% (13 square miles)
- Total land area: 516 square miles
--- #6 largest county in state, #2,020 nationwide

- Population density: 71.4 people / square mile (36,833 residents)
--- #35 lowest density county in state, #1,997 nationwide

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Cwebb1996 // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Montgomery County

- Rural area: 97.6% (493 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.4% (12 square miles)
- Total land area: 505 square miles
--- #10 largest county in state, #2,058 nationwide

- Population density: 75.9 people / square mile (38,295 residents)
--- #41 lowest density county in state, #2,048 nationwide

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#46. Wells County

- Rural area: 97.7% (359 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.4% (9 square miles)
- Total land area: 368 square miles
--- #66 largest county in state, #2,639 nationwide

- Population density: 76.1 people / square mile (28,010 residents)
--- #42 lowest density county in state, #2,050 nationwide

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#45. Jennings County

- Rural area: 97.8% (368 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.2% (8 square miles)
- Total land area: 377 square miles
--- #60 largest county in state, #2,615 nationwide

- Population density: 73.4 people / square mile (27,639 residents)
--- #38 lowest density county in state, #2,018 nationwide

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#44. Posey County

- Rural area: 97.8% (401 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.2% (9 square miles)
- Total land area: 410 square miles
--- #35 largest county in state, #2,465 nationwide

- Population density: 62.2 people / square mile (25,480 residents)
--- #30 lowest density county in state, #1,872 nationwide

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#43. Whitley County

- Rural area: 98.0% (329 square miles)
- Urban area: 2.0% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 336 square miles
--- #73 largest county in state, #2,724 nationwide

- Population density: 101.0 people / square mile (33,899 residents)
--- #53 lowest density county in state, #2,259 nationwide

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#42. Clinton County

- Rural area: 98.1% (397 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.9% (8 square miles)
- Total land area: 405 square miles
--- #40 largest county in state, #2,500 nationwide

- Population density: 79.5 people / square mile (32,186 residents)
--- #45 lowest density county in state, #2,095 nationwide

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#41. Noble County

- Rural area: 98.2% (403 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.8% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 411 square miles
--- #34 largest county in state, #2,461 nationwide

- Population density: 116.0 people / square mile (47,640 residents)
--- #61 lowest density county in state, #2,350 nationwide

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#40. Wabash County

- Rural area: 98.2% (405 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.8% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 412 square miles
--- #31 largest county in state, #2,450 nationwide

- Population density: 75.6 people / square mile (31,198 residents)
--- #40 lowest density county in state, #2,045 nationwide

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Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Decatur County

- Rural area: 98.2% (366 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.8% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 373 square miles
--- #63 largest county in state, #2,625 nationwide

- Population density: 71.4 people / square mile (26,587 residents)
--- #34 lowest density county in state, #1,996 nationwide

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#38. Clay County

- Rural area: 98.4% (352 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.6% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 358 square miles
--- #70 largest county in state, #2,664 nationwide

- Population density: 73.4 people / square mile (26,231 residents)
--- #37 lowest density county in state, #2,017 nationwide

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#37. Daviess County

- Rural area: 98.4% (423 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.6% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 429 square miles
--- #26 largest county in state, #2,367 nationwide

- Population density: 77.5 people / square mile (33,277 residents)
--- #43 lowest density county in state, #2,065 nationwide

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#36. Vermillion County

- Rural area: 98.5% (253 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.5% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 257 square miles
--- #84 largest county in state, #2,893 nationwide

- Population density: 60.3 people / square mile (15,485 residents)
--- #29 lowest density county in state, #1,851 nationwide

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#35. Putnam County

- Rural area: 98.5% (473 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.5% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 481 square miles
--- #15 largest county in state, #2,154 nationwide

- Population density: 77.9 people / square mile (37,419 residents)
--- #44 lowest density county in state, #2,069 nationwide

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Rhatsa26X // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Gibson County

- Rural area: 98.6% (481 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.4% (7 square miles)
- Total land area: 487 square miles
--- #13 largest county in state, #2,133 nationwide

- Population density: 69.2 people / square mile (33,711 residents)
--- #33 lowest density county in state, #1,967 nationwide

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#33. Jay County

- Rural area: 98.7% (379 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.3% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 384 square miles
--- #56 largest county in state, #2,590 nationwide

- Population density: 53.9 people / square mile (20,697 residents)
--- #19 lowest density county in state, #1,754 nationwide

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#32. Perry County

- Rural area: 98.8% (377 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 382 square miles
--- #58 largest county in state, #2,594 nationwide

- Population density: 50.0 people / square mile (19,091 residents)
--- #17 lowest density county in state, #1,694 nationwide

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#31. Tipton County

- Rural area: 98.8% (257 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 261 square miles
--- #83 largest county in state, #2,884 nationwide

- Population density: 58.2 people / square mile (15,154 residents)
--- #25 lowest density county in state, #1,819 nationwide

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#30. Fulton County

- Rural area: 98.8% (364 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 368 square miles
--- #65 largest county in state, #2,636 nationwide

- Population density: 54.5 people / square mile (20,069 residents)
--- #23 lowest density county in state, #1,770 nationwide

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#29. White County

- Rural area: 98.8% (499 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 505 square miles
--- #9 largest county in state, #2,055 nationwide

- Population density: 47.8 people / square mile (24,163 residents)
--- #13 lowest density county in state, #1,649 nationwide

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#28. Jasper County

- Rural area: 98.9% (553 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.2% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 560 square miles
--- #3 largest county in state, #1,857 nationwide

- Population density: 59.7 people / square mile (33,433 residents)
--- #28 lowest density county in state, #1,846 nationwide

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#27. Greene County

- Rural area: 98.9% (536 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.1% (6 square miles)
- Total land area: 542 square miles
--- #4 largest county in state, #1,922 nationwide

- Population density: 59.3 people / square mile (32,174 residents)
--- #27 lowest density county in state, #1,838 nationwide

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#26. Randolph County

- Rural area: 98.9% (447 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.1% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 452 square miles
--- #18 largest county in state, #2,261 nationwide

- Population density: 54.6 people / square mile (24,694 residents)
--- #24 lowest density county in state, #1,773 nationwide

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#25. Parke County

- Rural area: 99.0% (440 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (5 square miles)
- Total land area: 445 square miles
--- #23 largest county in state, #2,289 nationwide

- Population density: 38.0 people / square mile (16,912 residents)
--- #8 lowest density county in state, #1,424 nationwide

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Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Rush County

- Rural area: 99.0% (404 square miles)
- Urban area: 1.0% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 408 square miles
--- #36 largest county in state, #2,478 nationwide

- Population density: 40.8 people / square mile (16,632 residents)
--- #9 lowest density county in state, #1,490 nationwide

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#23. Starke County

- Rural area: 99.1% (306 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.9% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 309 square miles
--- #77 largest county in state, #2,786 nationwide

- Population density: 74.4 people / square mile (22,996 residents)
--- #39 lowest density county in state, #2,029 nationwide

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#22. Harrison County

- Rural area: 99.2% (481 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.8% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 485 square miles
--- #14 largest county in state, #2,141 nationwide

- Population density: 82.9 people / square mile (40,164 residents)
--- #46 lowest density county in state, #2,119 nationwide

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#21. Washington County

- Rural area: 99.3% (510 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.8% (4 square miles)
- Total land area: 514 square miles
--- #7 largest county in state, #2,027 nationwide

- Population density: 54.4 people / square mile (27,942 residents)
--- #22 lowest density county in state, #1,766 nationwide

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#20. Franklin County

- Rural area: 99.3% (382 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 384 square miles
--- #55 largest county in state, #2,588 nationwide

- Population density: 59.2 people / square mile (22,750 residents)
--- #26 lowest density county in state, #1,836 nationwide

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#19. Fountain County

- Rural area: 99.3% (393 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.7% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 396 square miles
--- #48 largest county in state, #2,547 nationwide

- Population density: 41.6 people / square mile (16,456 residents)
--- #10 lowest density county in state, #1,509 nationwide

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Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Ripley County

- Rural area: 99.4% (444 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (3 square miles)
- Total land area: 446 square miles
--- #22 largest county in state, #2,283 nationwide

- Population density: 63.7 people / square mile (28,457 residents)
--- #31 lowest density county in state, #1,901 nationwide

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#17. Warren County

- Rural area: 99.4% (362 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 365 square miles
--- #67 largest county in state, #2,643 nationwide

- Population density: 22.5 people / square mile (8,219 residents)
--- #2 lowest density county in state, #982 nationwide

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#16. Carroll County

- Rural area: 99.4% (370 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 372 square miles
--- #64 largest county in state, #2,626 nationwide

- Population density: 54.1 people / square mile (20,137 residents)
--- #20 lowest density county in state, #1,756 nationwide

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#15. Orange County

- Rural area: 99.4% (396 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 398 square miles
--- #45 largest county in state, #2,534 nationwide

- Population density: 49.1 people / square mile (19,552 residents)
--- #16 lowest density county in state, #1,676 nationwide

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#14. LaGrange County

- Rural area: 99.4% (377 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.6% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 380 square miles
--- #59 largest county in state, #2,605 nationwide

- Population density: 104.1 people / square mile (39,537 residents)
--- #55 lowest density county in state, #2,286 nationwide

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#13. Sullivan County

- Rural area: 99.5% (445 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 447 square miles
--- #21 largest county in state, #2,282 nationwide

- Population density: 46.2 people / square mile (20,647 residents)
--- #12 lowest density county in state, #1,612 nationwide

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#12. Martin County

- Rural area: 99.5% (334 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.5% (2 square miles)
- Total land area: 336 square miles
--- #72 largest county in state, #2,723 nationwide

- Population density: 30.3 people / square mile (10,169 residents)
--- #4 lowest density county in state, #1,219 nationwide

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Chris Light // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Pulaski County

- Rural area: 99.7% (432 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.3% (1 square miles)
- Total land area: 434 square miles
--- #25 largest county in state, #2,342 nationwide

- Population density: 28.8 people / square mile (12,482 residents)
--- #3 lowest density county in state, #1,176 nationwide

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Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Ohio County

- Rural area: 100.0% (86 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 86 square miles
--- #92 largest county in state, #3,090 nationwide

- Population density: 68.4 people / square mile (5,890 residents)
--- #32 lowest density county in state, #1,953 nationwide

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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Owen County

- Rural area: 100.0% (385 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 385 square miles
--- #53 largest county in state, #2,582 nationwide

- Population density: 54.1 people / square mile (20,854 residents)
--- #21 lowest density county in state, #1,759 nationwide

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#8. Spencer County

- Rural area: 100.0% (397 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 397 square miles
--- #46 largest county in state, #2,541 nationwide

- Population density: 51.3 people / square mile (20,364 residents)
--- #18 lowest density county in state, #1,717 nationwide

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Warren LeMay from Cullowhee, NC, United States // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Switzerland County

- Rural area: 100.0% (221 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 221 square miles
--- #86 largest county in state, #2,969 nationwide

- Population density: 48.6 people / square mile (10,727 residents)
--- #15 lowest density county in state, #1,667 nationwide

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#6. Brown County

- Rural area: 100.0% (312 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 312 square miles
--- #76 largest county in state, #2,782 nationwide

- Population density: 48.4 people / square mile (15,093 residents)
--- #14 lowest density county in state, #1,661 nationwide

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Warren LeMay // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Union County

- Rural area: 100.0% (161 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 161 square miles
--- #90 largest county in state, #3,048 nationwide

- Population density: 44.3 people / square mile (7,140 residents)
--- #11 lowest density county in state, #1,557 nationwide

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#4. Pike County

- Rural area: 100.0% (334 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 334 square miles
--- #74 largest county in state, #2,727 nationwide

- Population density: 37.0 people / square mile (12,364 residents)
--- #7 lowest density county in state, #1,398 nationwide

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#3. Newton County

- Rural area: 100.0% (402 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 402 square miles
--- #43 largest county in state, #2,515 nationwide

- Population density: 34.8 people / square mile (13,981 residents)
--- #6 lowest density county in state, #1,338 nationwide

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Crawford County

- Rural area: 100.0% (306 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 306 square miles
--- #80 largest county in state, #2,796 nationwide

- Population density: 34.6 people / square mile (10,582 residents)
--- #5 lowest density county in state, #1,331 nationwide

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#1. Benton County

- Rural area: 100.0% (406 square miles)
- Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
- Total land area: 406 square miles
--- #39 largest county in state, #2,493 nationwide

- Population density: 21.4 people / square mile (8,695 residents)
--- #1 lowest density county in state, #937 nationwide

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