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North Carolina

North Carolina covers 48,711 square miles, with a 2016 estimated population of 10,146,788 people – with 2,206,740 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 2016 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 71.0% of the state’s population is white, 22.2% is African-American, 2.9% is Asian, 1.6% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 9.2% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

North Carolina Rural Healthcare Facilities

North Carolina Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 113 hospitals in North Carolina (Kaiser, 2015), 20 of which are identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 1/2018). There are 73 Rural Health Clinics in North Carolina (CMS, 2017) and 38 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 222 sites in the state (NACHC, 2015).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural North Carolina

11% of North Carolina residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2016). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for North Carolina residents in 2016 was $42,244, although rural per-capita income lagged at $34,847. The ERS reports, based on 2016 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural North Carolina is 19.2%, compared with 14.3% in urban areas of the state. 18.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 12.3% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2012-2016 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural North Carolina is 5.9%, while in urban North Carolina it is 4.8% (USDA-ERS, 2016).

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


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 health care 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: 11/9/2017