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Iowa covers 55,869 square miles, with a 2017 estimated population of 3,145,711 people - 1,270,833 living in rural Iowa (USDA-ERS). Des Moines, the state capital, is located in the south-central region of the state. The state's largest cities are Des Moines, Davenport, and Cedar Rapids. According to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 91.1% of the state’s population is white, 3.8% is African-American, 2.6% is Asian, 0.5% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 6.0% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Iowa Rural Healthcare Facilities

Iowa Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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According to, as of July 2018 Iowa had:

  • 82 Critical Access Hospitals
  • 178 Rural Health Clinics
  • 34 Federally Qualified Health Centers located outside of Urbanized Areas
  • 15 short term hospitals located outside of Urbanized Areas

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Iowa

5% of Iowa residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2016). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for Iowans in 2016 was $46,000, although rural per capita lagged at $44,169. The ERS reports, based on 2017 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Iowa is 10.8%, compared with 10.7% in urban areas of the state. 9.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 7.5% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2012-2016 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Iowa is at 3.3% while in urban Iowa it is at 3.0% (USDA-ERS, 2017).

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

Data Sources
Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets


Iowa State Office of Rural Health
Phone: 515.499.4467
Helps rural communities and organizations identify and resolve issues, and build rural health infrastructure. Provides rural health advocacy and outreach, coordination of rural health resources, and consultation to healthcare communities and providers in rural Iowa.
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There are more organizations related to Iowa in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 6/5/2017