A rural settlement is a home or series of homes that is outside of a municipal area with streets, city utilities and an urban environment. It is usually out in the countryside, surrounded by nature and away from other buildings and business development. There are a number of different settlements which can be considered rural settlements.

Panoramic view of cottages, Cregnesh, Isle of Man, British Isles
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Rural settlements are surrounded by their natural environments.

Ranches

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Ranches

Ranches are rural settlements on large pieces of property meant for raising livestock or just preserving the natural land in all its glory. Ranchers often have large homes, stables and sheds in one section of their property while the rest is allowed to run wild on its own. Many ranchers maintain their property by building a fence line around it and land clear of debris and overgrowth. Some raise livestock and change their ranch land in order to accommodate these animals. Others will preserve the landscape, allowing wildlife to live peacefully.

Farms

Barn and farmland
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Farms

Farms are rural settlements on large plots of land which use the land itself to grow crops. These settlements usually have a farm house, a barn for equipment and livestock and a few other structures on them, like a well or water tower. Many farms are self sufficient, able to pump their own water, eat their own harvests and milk their own cows. Different farms require different amounts of land and water, depending on what types of crops they are growing and selling.

Rural Areas

Village of Untermassing in Germany
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Rural Areas

Rural areas with large number of farms, ranches and other homes will often collectively refer to themselves as a rural settlement, so that they can request utilities from the state or solve land disputes or other problems together. These groups of rural settlements are all factored into the local county's populations within each state and are allowed to vote within that county for things they want to see changed in their area. They can also petition local municipalities in their area for help, though these areas are often low priority as they don't represent many votes and are often out of the way.