Rural vs. Remote — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on September 30, 2023
Rural refers to areas that are less populated and outside of urban centers, often involving agriculture or open spaces. Remote refers to areas that are difficult to access or far removed from populated regions, regardless of their rural or urban status.
Difference Between Rural and Remote
Table of Contents
Rural areas are typically characterized by low population density and are often situated outside of cities or towns. They may have features like farmland, small communities, and open spaces. Remote areas, on the other hand, are defined by their isolation and are hard to reach due to geographical barriers or limited transportation.
In a rural setting, you might find agricultural activities, small businesses, and perhaps local schools. While these areas are less populated, they are not necessarily isolated or hard to reach. Remote areas are different; they could be either rural or urban but are usually far from main roads, making them difficult to access.
From a grammatical standpoint, both "rural" and "remote" serve as adjectives. They can also function as nouns when referring to rural or remote areas in general. Rural often appears in contexts involving farming, community life, or simplicity. Remote is frequently used in contexts that imply isolation, difficulty in accessibility, or distance.
Though rural and remote can sometimes overlap, they have distinct meanings. An area can be rural without being remote, and vice versa. For instance, a village may be rural in character but easily accessible by a major highway, while a mountain resort may be remote but not necessarily rural.
Less populated, often agricultural
Difficult to access or isolated
Population density and land use
Accessibility and isolation
Primarily used as an adjective
Primarily used as an adjective
Isolated, far removed
Describes areas outside of urban centers
Describes any area hard to access
Compare with Definitions
Characterized by agriculture or farming.
The rural landscape was filled with farms and pastures.
Isolated from mainstream or populous regions.
He lived in a remote cabin in the woods.
Having low population density.
The rural town had a very tight-knit community.
Located far away from populated areas.
The remote island was uninhabited.
Pertaining to non-urban lifestyles or values.
The rural community held a yearly harvest festival.
Difficult to access due to distance or obstacles.
The remote village could only be reached by helicopter.
Relating to the countryside rather than the city.
We moved to a rural area to escape the city's hustle and bustle.
Lacking in immediate proximity to civilization.
The remote outpost was resupplied once a month.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of the country.
Located far away; distant in space.
Of or relating to people who live in the country
Hidden away; secluded
A remote hamlet.
Of or relating to farming; agricultural.
Distant in time
The remote past.
Relating to the countryside or to agriculture.
A remote possibility.
Had not the remotest interest.
(obsolete) A person from the countryside; a rustic.
Far removed in connection or relevance
A cause remote from everyday concerns.
Of or pertaining to the country, as distinguished from a city or town; living in the country; suitable for, or resembling, the country; rustic; as, rural scenes; a rural prospect.
Here is a rural fellow; . . . He brings you figs.
Distantly related by blood or marriage
A remote cousin.
Of or pertaining to agriculture; as, rural economy.
We turnTo where the silver Thames first rural grows.
Lay bashfulness, that rustic virtue, by;To manly confidence thy throughts apply.
Distant in manner; aloof.
Living in or characteristic of farming or country life;
Large rural households
Unpaved rural roads
An economy that is basically rural
Operating or controlled from a distance
Relating to rural areas;
Rural free delivery (RFD)
(Computers) Located at a distance from another computer that is accessible by cables or other communications links
A remote terminal.
Situated away from urban centers.
The rural village was a 30-minute drive from the nearest city.
A radio or television broadcast originating from a point outside a studio.
A remote control device.
At a distance; disconnected.
A remote operator may control the vehicle with a wireless handset.
Distant or otherwise inaccessible.
After his fall from the emperor's favor, the general was posted to a remote outpost.
(especially with respect to likelihood) Slight.
There was only a remote possibility that we would be rescued as we were far outside of the regular shipping lanes.
They have a very remote chance of winning.
You have a remote resemblance to my grandmother.
After her mother's death, my friend grew remote for a time while she dealt with her grief.
Ellipsis of remote control
I hate it when my uncle comes over to visit; he always sits in the best chair and hogs the remote.
(broadcasting) An element of broadcast programming originating away from the station's or show's control room.
(computing) To connect to a computer from a remote location.
Removed to a distance; not near; far away; distant; - said in respect to time or to place; as, remote ages; remote lands.
Places remote enough are in Bohemia.
Remote from men, with God he passed his days.
Hence, removed; not agreeing, according, or being related; - in various figurative uses.
Separated by intervals greater than usual.
A device that can be used to control a machine or apparatus from a distance;
He lost the remote for his TV
Far distant in space;
A remote outpost of civilization
A hideaway far removed from towns and cities
An outside chance
A remote possibility
A remote contingency
Far distant in time;
The remote past or future
A civilization ten centuries removed from modern times
Inaccessible and sparsely populated
Far apart in nature;
Considerations entirely removed (or remote) from politics
Far removed in connection or relevance.
The topic seemed remote to the ongoing discussion.
Can an area be both Rural and Remote?
Yes, an area can be both rural and remote if it is less populated and hard to access.
Can an Urban area be Remote?
Theoretically, yes. An urban area can be remote if it is difficult to access.
Is Rural synonymous with Agricultural?
While rural areas often involve agriculture, the two are not synonymous.
Is Rural always synonymous with "Country?"
"Rural" and "country" are often used interchangeably but "country" may have broader cultural implications.
What does Rural mean?
Rural refers to areas that are less populated and usually outside of urban centers.
Can a place become less Rural?
Yes, urbanization can make a place less rural.
What does Remote mean?
Remote refers to areas that are difficult to access or far removed from populated regions.
What are examples of Remote areas?
Examples include isolated islands, mountain regions, or deserts.
Do Rural areas lack modern amenities?
Not necessarily; some rural areas may have modern amenities.
Can a place become less Remote?
Improved transportation can make an area less remote.
How is Remote used grammatically?
"Remote" is primarily used as an adjective to describe places, locations, or concepts.
What makes an area Remote?
An area is remote if it is hard to reach due to geographical barriers or limited transportation.
How is Rural used grammatically?
"Rural" is primarily used as an adjective to describe areas, communities, or characteristics.
What's the opposite of Rural?
The opposite of rural is usually considered to be urban.
Are Remote areas always uninhabited?
No, remote areas can be inhabited but are generally hard to access.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.