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Rural Health Information Hub


Massachusetts covers 7,840 square miles, with a 2021 population estimate of 6,984,723 people - 106,603 of which live in rural areas (USDA-ERS). The eastern part of the state is mostly urban and suburban including the city of Boston and the surrounding metro-Boston area. However, rural communities are located in central and western Massachusetts except for the immediate areas of Worcester and Springfield and in the coastal areas of the southeastern part of the state. According to 2021 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 79.8% of the state's population is White, 9.3% is African-American, 7.5% is Asian, 0.5% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 12.8% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Massachusetts Rural Healthcare Facilities

Critical Access Hospitals
Rural Health Clinics
Federally Qualified Health Centers*
Short Term/PPS Hospitals*
*Sites located outside of Urbanized Areas according to April 2022.

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Massachusetts

2.4% of Massachusetts residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2020). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for Massachusetts residents in 2020 was $78,458, with the rural per capita income at $71,433. The ERS reports, based on 2020 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Massachusetts is 9.5%, compared with 9.4% in urban areas of the state. 6.0% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 9.0% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2016-2020 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Massachusetts is at 5.6%, while in urban Wisconsin it is at 5.7% (USDA-ERS, 2021).

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


Massachusetts Office of Rural Health
Phone: 508.792.7880 Ext. 2172
A component of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which collects and disseminates information on rural health; coordinates resources and activities within rural communities; provides technical assistance for planning and development; strengthens local, state, and federal partnerships; and administers the Massachusetts Rural Hospital Flex and the SHIP programs.
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There are more organizations related to Massachusetts in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 11/24/2021