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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Rural definitions

Details on HHS' Distribution of Emergency Funds to Hospitals with High COVID-19 Admissions and Rural Providers
Provides an overview of the methodologies the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will use to distribute COVID-19 related funding to hospitals with high numbers of COVID-19 admissions, rural hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics, and health centers. Includes a comparison of the terms of conditions of the different CARES Act funding programs.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: American Hospital Association
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Considerations for Defining Rural Places in Health Policies and Programs
Highlights key questions to be considered when evaluating a definition of rural that is most appropriate for a specific policy or program. Discusses the principles needed to drive rural definitions and the current challenges of changing rural definitions. Provides an overview of common rural definitions in use, and offers options for the development of new definitions and adjustments to current definitions.
Author(s): Keith J. Mueller, Andrew F. Coburn, Alana Knudson, Jennifer P. Lundblad, A. Clinton MacKinney, et al.
Date: 05/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute Rural Health Panel
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Rates of Living Alone by Rurality and Age
Identifies the percentage rates of adults living alone and within specific age groups using two classifications of rurality: the U.S. Census Bureau definition for rural and urban, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) definition for metropolitan/non-metropolitan county.
Author(s): Carrie Henning-Smith, Jonathan Schroeder, Mariana S Tuttle
Date: 04/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
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Including Rural Populations in Research
Presents a video discussing the importance of researchers to include rural populations and rural programs in their healthcare research in order to achieve health equity and eliminate health disparities.
Author(s): Kristine Sande
Date: 02/2020
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
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Using Data to Define Rural Populations
Offers a step-by-step guide for developing a rural community baseline dataset, and identifies links to helpful resources and existing datasets, with the intent to help State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) focus on the demographics influencing health and the health needs of the rural communities within their state.
Date: 02/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
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U.S. Census 2020: Engagement Opportunities for Rural Health Stakeholders
Discusses the U.S. Census Bureau's set of "Hard-to-Count" target areas for the 2020 census that include rural census tracts. Identifies ways in which rural stakeholders can use this information to engage healthcare providers in census support activities.
Citation: NOSORH Issue Brief, 2(3)
Date: 01/2020
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
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Counties by Metro/Micro Area Status: 2018
Map of the United States displaying metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas by county using data from the Office and Management and Budget (OMB).
Date: 12/2019
Type: Map/Mapping System
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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Wisconsin Divided Ten Ways: A Review of Rural-Urban Classification Systems
Provides a high-level overview of core classification systems, and systems that are county-based, census tract-based, ZIP code-based, and municipal-based. Includes county-level maps with shadings indicating levels of population density, based on various definitions of the terms urban and rural.
Additional links: Appendix A - Wisconsin County Classifications, Appendix B - Wisconsin Census Tract Classifications, Appendix C - Wisconsin ZIP Code Classification, Appendix D - Municipal Classifications
Date: 07/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Wisconsin Office of Rural Health
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Micropolitan America
Infographic showing a variety of charts about micropolitan statistical areas. Includes a map of micropolitan areas. Provides data on the micropolitan population compared to the U.S. population as a whole, covering age and sex, race/ethnicity, population change, industry, and occupation.
Date: 07/2019
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data: What Users of Data for Rural Areas Need to Know
An overview of what data users need to know about working with American Community Survey (ACS) data for rural areas. Addresses how rural is defined, the use of 5-year estimates, strategies to produce reliable estimates for rural communities, where to access rural ACS estimates, and case studies of rural data use.
Date: 06/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Census Bureau
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