How Niche Determines Area Feel

Area Feel is a new designation being used on Niche and is still being developed. The factors that are considered are population density, the proportion of single-family homes, the proportion of residents that drive/walk/bike/take transit to work, and the density of amenities.

The following are Niche’s Area Feel* categories listed from most sparse to most dense:

Rural

  • Lowest population density. Residents live in single-family homes. Residents drive to work and have little to no access to amenities without traveling to a more densely populated area.

Suburban Rural Mix

  • Low population density. Single-family homes are the most widely available housing option. Most of the population drives to work and drives to other locations to access most amenities.

Sparse Suburban

  • Medium-low population density. Most housing options are single-family homes. Most of the population drives to work. There is some limited access to amenities.

Dense Suburban

  • Medium population density. There are some apartment buildings and many single-family homes. A higher percentage of the population drives to work. There is access to some but not all amenities.

Urban Suburban Mix

  • Medium to high population density. There are many apartment buildings as well as some single-family homes. A moderate proportion of residents will drive to work while others will bike, walk, or utilize public transit. There is access to some amenities but it might require a longer commute.

Sparse Urban (Industrial Areas)

  • Very low population density. It is located in an urban area, but few people live there and access to amenities is not readily available. Typically this is a location that is only used for industrial purposes.

Urban

  • High population density, many large apartment buildings, and a few single-family homes. A large share of the population does not drive to work and has access to lots of amenities.

Dense Urban

  • The highest population density, most housing is in apartment buildings with very few single-family homes. Most of the population most of the residents bike, walk, or use public transit to get to work. There is quick access to a wide variety of amenities.

We do not have a direct breakdown for the 8 different categories because it is not based on population numbers. The designations are dependent on how the surrounding locations are classified and the types of housing and businesses located in a given area. The Area Feel classification does not get counted into grades or rankings. 

Below is some additional information about our Places to Live data.

Best Places To Live Methodology

How Niche Calculates Grades

*This is Niche’s proprietary approach and is not directly linked to US Census data or definitions