As the Sunshine State, Florida is noted for its warm climate, beautiful beaches and numerous recreational opportunities. Florida covers 53,927 square miles, with a 2015 estimated population of 20,271,272 people, including 706,051 people living in 30 rural Florida counties (USDA-ERS). An additional 1.1 million persons were estimated by the U.S. Census to live in the rural portions of Florida’s 37 urban counties. Tallahassee is the state capital and the largest cities are Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. According to the latest estimates, 77.7% of the state’s population is white, 16.8% is Black/African American, and 24.5% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census, 2015).

Florida Rural Healthcare Facilities

Florida Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 211 hospitals in Florida (Kaiser, 2014), 21 of which are located in rural areas (SORH, 2012). The state has 13 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 12/2015). There are 150 Rural Health Clinics in Florida (CMS, 2015) and 48 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 446 sites in the state (NACHC, 2014). All of Florida’s 67 counties are designated in part or whole as primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Florida

15% of Florida residents are uninsured (Kaiser, 2014). According to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), the average per-capita income for Florida residents in 2014 was $42,737, although rural per-capita income lagged at $31,696. The ERS reports, based on 2010-2014 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Florida is 22.7%, compared with 16.5% in urban areas of the state. 22.1% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 13.2% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2010-2014 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Florida is at 5.8%, while in urban Florida it is at 5.4% (USDA-ERS, 2015).

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; Florida State Office of Rural Health (SORH); 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


Florida Office of Rural Health
Phone: 850.245.4446
Addresses the healthcare needs of the state's rural citizens. A division of the Florida Department of Health.
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