Arkansas, officially "The Natural State," is a state of mountains, valleys, dense woodland and fertile plains. Arkansas covers 52,068 square miles, with a 2014 estimated population of 2,966,369 people - 1,145,598 living in rural Arkansas (USDA-ERS). The state capital is Little Rock. The largest cities are Little Rock, Fort Smith and Fayetteville. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 79.7% of the state’s population is white, 15.6% is Black/African-American, and 7.0% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census, 2014).

Arkansas Rural Healthcare Facilities

Arkansas Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 81 hospitals in Arkansas (Kaiser, 2014), 29 of which are identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 12/2015). The state has 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers providing services at 99 sites (NACHC, 2013). There are also 76 Rural Health Clinics in Arkansas (CMS, 2015).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Arkansas

10% of Arkansas residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2014). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Arkansas residents in 2014 was $37,782, although rural per-capita income lagged at $32,045. The ERS reports, based on 2010-2014 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Arkansas is 21.6%, compared with 17.7% in urban areas of the state. 18.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 13.8% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2010-2014 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Arkansas is 7.2%, while in urban Arkansas it is 5.5% (USDA-ERS, 2014).

For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.

Data Sources
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


Arkansas Office of Rural Health & Primary Care
Phone: 501.280.4560
Promotes the development of community-based health care services and systems throughout Arkansas to ensure that well managed, quality health services are available to all citizens. This is a component of the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health.
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There are more organizations related to Arkansas in the organizations section.