What rural means
Why the term rural is used?
The term rural was used, as opposed to "country/countryside" because rural is easily translated between the latin languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian) making it more universally understood.
Generally people living in Rural areas will either be in farm or small villages/communities of a few hundred. But villages vary in size from place to place. So we will put some rough guidelines for how big a village may be before it is considered a 'small town'.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2000, "Rural areas comprise open country and settlements with fewer than 2,500 residents."   So generally we could consider only people living in villages/communities of less than 2,500 to be rural. However, exceptions can be made up until a maximum of around 5,000 persons based on the following definitions: "A rural community is defined as an area with a population of fewer than 2,500 people or a population between 2,500 and 6,000 people"  and rural being defined as "areas with populations of 5,000 or less" according to The Rural Highway Public Transportation Administration, in the U.S.
There are always exceptions and accepting or not accepting a person on the map will be left to the moderator's discretion. If there's a problem, don't hesitate to refer to the coordinators.
Non Quantitative Definition
Having a population limitation will not always be effective. So for those that rely less on numbers we offer the following definition:
A village is human scale: it is large enough so that all the needs of its inhabitants can be met, with complete specialization of tasks, but not so large that there are anonymous people; in a village everybody is known, and strangers are instantly recognized and assessed.
Settlements smaller than villages are called "hamlets". In a hamlet there are not enough people for a diversity of specialization of tasks, so culture is limited to necessities.
Versus a town which is defined as:
A town has enough people so that not everyone is known, and suspicions develop concerning the motivations of strangers.
Quality vs. Quantity
With the Rural hospex project it's not about filling up the maps with people, nor is it about putting everyone who is in a regional area, off the main tourist route or small town/suburb. It's about creating a world-wide rural network for people want to experience rural areas through Couchsurfing, as well as allowing people in rural areas to network with other people living in rural areas.
Rural en France
Rural Hospex was first launched in France and has the most successful rural network in the world. Generally the model they have used to develop Rural Couchsurfing is what's followed. Look at the French rural hosts, the French CS Rural Group and the French Rural Hosts map. Read how things started by reading this post.