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North Carolina

North Carolina covers 48,711 square miles, with a 2019 estimated population of 10,488,084 people – with 2,220,128 people living in rural North Carolina (USDA-ERS). Raleigh is the state capital. The state's largest cities are Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro. According to 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 70.6% of the state's population is white, 22.2% is African-American, 3.2% is Asian, 1.6% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 9.6% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

North Carolina Rural Healthcare Facilities

North Carolina Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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According to, as of January 2020 North Carolina had:

  • 20 Critical Access Hospitals
  • 71 Rural Health Clinics
  • 154 Federally Qualified Health Center sites located outside of Urbanized Areas
  • 38 short term hospitals located outside of Urbanized Areas

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural North Carolina

11% of North Carolina residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2017). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for North Carolina residents in 2018 was $46,117, although rural per capita income lagged at $37,575. The ERS reports, based on 2018 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural North Carolina is 18.3%, compared with 12.9% in urban areas of the state. 17.1% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 11.4% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2014-2018 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural North Carolina is 4.4%, while in urban North Carolina it is 3.7% (USDA-ERS, 2019).

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


North Carolina Office of Rural Health
Phone: 919.527.6440
Provides technical assistance to small hospitals and community health centers in rural and medically underserved communities, recruits healthcare providers to work in rural and medically underserved communities, and provides grants for community health centers.
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There are more organizations related to North Carolina in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 11/9/2018