Digital metrics firm comScore released a study on broadband growth in rural, micropolitan and metropolitan areas in the United States.

The results: While broadband penetration is much higher in the metropolitan and micropolitan areas, broadband has experienced the most significant gains in rural areas during the past two years.

“Across the country we have witnessed growth in broadband adoption driven by greater price competition and increased consumer demand, as bandwidth-intense activities like video streaming and peer-to-peer sharing continue to grow,” Brian Jurutka, VP of telecommunications at comScore, said in a statement “With low-speed DSL priced at about the same level as dial-up in many areas, there is little incentive for households to remain on dial-up.”

Rural markets (defined as having a population less than 10,000) in the U.S. experienced a 16-percentage point increase in broadband penetration from Q2 2007 to Q2 2009, making it the fastest growing geographic market segment in the nation. Comparatively, micropolitan areas (population between 10,000-50,000) grew 14 percentage points during the same period, while metropolitan areas (population 50,000+) grew 11 percentage points.

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