On June 29, 2022, RHS published a final rule updating the definition of “rural area” to exclude certain populations in rural area population counts. The rule updates the definition of “rural area” for every Rural Development program. The updated definition excludes the following from rural area population counts: (1) individuals incarcerated on a long-term or regional basis; and (2) the first 1,500 individuals who reside in housing located on a military base. Effective June 29, 2022, these groups will not be included in population counts for whether certain areas meet the definition of “rural area” for the various Rural Development programs. The Rural Development eligibility mapping tools have been updated to reflect this revised statutory definition.