Kentucky covers 39,728 square miles, with a 2015 estimated population of 4,425,092 people – with 1,835,685 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 the U.S. Census Bureau, 88.1% of the state’s population is white, 8.3% is Black/African-American, and 3.4% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census, 2015).

Kentucky Rural Healthcare Facilities

Kentucky Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 103 hospitals in Kentucky (Kaiser, 2015), 27 of which are identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 2/2017). There are 190 Rural Health Clinics in Kentucky (CMS, 2016) and 23 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 211 sites in the state (NACHC, 2015).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Kentucky

7% of Kentucky residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2014). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Kentucky residents in 2015 was $38,588, although rural per-capita income lagged at $32,988. The ERS reports, based on 2015 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Kentucky is 22.5%, compared with 15.7% in urban areas of the state. 21.2% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 11.9% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2011-2015 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Kentucky is 6.5%, while in urban Kentucky, it is 4.7% (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; 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


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

Last Reviewed: 9/30/2015