Nebraska, the Cornhusker State, is named after its largest river, the Platte, which a local American Indian tribe called “Nebraska” meaning “flat water.” Nebraska is also home to three American Indian reservations. Nebraska covers 76,872 square miles, with a 2014 estimated population of 1,881,503 people – 669,033 living in rural Nebraska (USDA-ERS). Lincoln, the capital, is located in the south-eastern region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Lincoln, Omaha and Bellevue. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 89.4% of the state’s population is white, 4.9% is Black/African-American, 1.4% is American Indian & Alaska Native, 2.2% is Asian, and 10.2% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census, 2014).

Nebraska Rural Healthcare Facilities

Nebraska Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 30 licensed general acute care hospitals in Nebraska (Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, 2014). The state has 64 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 12/2015). There are 135 Rural Health Clinics in Nebraska (Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, 2014), and 6 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 36 sites in the state (NACHC, 2013). Nebraska's not-for-profit hospitals and public health departments are connected to a telehealth backbone that uses T1 lines and cable lines for connectivity. Additional CRHC's will be added to the same network in the future.

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Nebraska

Most Nebraskans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 10% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2014). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Nebraskans in 2014 was $47,557, although rural per-capita income rose above at $47,863. The ERS reports, based on 2010-2014 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Nebraska is 12.4%, compared with 13.1% in urban areas of the state. 10.2% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 9.1% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2010-2014 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Nebraska is at 3.1%, while in urban Nebraska it is at 3.4% (USDA-ERS, 2014).

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

Data Sources
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; Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services; U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets


Nebraska Office of Rural Health
Phone: 402.471.2337
Works to assure quality health care services to those living in rural Nebraska. Promotes programs and activities including student loan repayment programs, recruitment and retention, healthcare facilities serving underserved areas, and State 30 J1 Visa Waiver. Serves as the Nebraska Office of Primary Care.
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