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Kentucky covers 39,728 square miles, with a 2018 estimated population of 4,468,402 people – with 1,829,922 people living in rural areas (USDA-ERS). Frankfort is the state capital, and the state's largest cities are Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green. According to 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 87.6% of the state's population is white, 8.4% is African-American, 1.6% is Asian, 0.3% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 3.8% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Kentucky Rural Healthcare Facilities

Kentucky Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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According to, as of April 2019 Kentucky had:

  • 27 Critical Access Hospitals
  • 244 Rural Health Clinics
  • 243 Federally Qualified Health Center sites located outside of Urbanized Areas
  • 30 short term hospitals located outside of Urbanized Areas

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Kentucky

6% of Kentucky residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2017). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for Kentucky residents in 2017 was $40,597, although rural per capita income lagged at $34,155. The ERS reports, based on 2017 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Kentucky is 22.2%, compared with 13.8% in urban areas of the state. 19.9% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 11.1% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2013-2017 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Kentucky is 5.2%, while in urban Kentucky, it is 3.9% (USDA-ERS, 2018).

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


Kentucky State Office of Rural Health
Phone: 606.439.3557
Partners with hospitals, community organizations, and non-profit groups, in promoting healthcare in rural Kentucky. Located in the Center of Excellence in Rural Health at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
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There are more organizations related to Kentucky in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 9/5/2019