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Rural Health Information Hub

North Carolina

North Carolina covers 48,711 square miles, with a 2021 estimated population of 10,551,162 people – with 2,154,273 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 2021 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 70.1% of the state's population is White, 22.3% is African-American, 3.4% is Asian, 1.6% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 10.2% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

North Carolina 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 North Carolina

10.0% of North Carolina residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2020). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for North Carolina residents in 2020 was $50,305, with the rural per capita income at $41,306. The ERS reports, based on 2020 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural North Carolina is 17.2%, compared with 11.8% in urban areas of the state. 15.2% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 10.4% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2016-2020 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural North Carolina is 5.3%, while in urban North Carolina it is 4.7% (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


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 these 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: 3/22/2022