Alaska is the largest state geographically and covers 571,951 square miles, with a 2017 estimated population of 739,795 people – 239,204 living in rural Alaska (USDA-ERS). Juneau, the capital, is located in the southeastern coastal region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. According to 2016 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 66.1% of the state’s population is white, 3.8% is African-American, 6.3% is Asian, 15.2% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.3% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 7.0% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.
Alaska Rural Healthcare Facilities
There are 21 hospitals in Alaska (Kaiser, 2016). The state has 14 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 7/2018). There are zero Rural Health Clinics in Alaska (CMS, 2017). 28 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 183 sites within the state (NACHC, 2016).
Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Alaska
While most Alaskans have some form of health insurance coverage, 14% of residents remain uninsured (Kaiser, 2016). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for Alaskans in 2016 was $55,646, although rural per capita income lagged at $52,862. Based on 2016 ACS data, the ERS reports that the poverty rate in rural Alaska is 14.4%, compared with 7.7% in urban areas of the state. 9.6% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 6.7% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2012-2016 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Alaska is 8.5%, while in urban Alaska, it is 6.5% (USDA-ERS, 2017).For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Rural Health Clinic List; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; National Association of Community Health Centers: Key Health Center Data By State; U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets
Collects and disseminates rural health care information and data; is engaged in health care provider recruitment and retention; provides technical assistance to rural providers, hospital and communities; and coordinates rural health policy analysis.
There are more organizations related to Alaska in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 4/10/2018