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Rural Health Information Hub

Formerly the
Rural Assistance Center



Pennsylvania covers 44,817 square miles, with a 2016 estimated population of 12,784,227 people – with 1,470,338 people living in rural Pennsylvania (USDA-ERS). Harrisburg is the state capital. The state’s largest cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 82.6% of the state’s population is white, 11.7% is Black/African-American, and 6.8% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census, 2015).

Pennsylvania Rural Healthcare Facilities

Pennsylvania Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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The state has 15 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 2/2017). There are 73 Rural Health Clinics in Pennsylvania (CMS, 2016), and 44 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 252 sites in the state (NACHC, 2015).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Pennsylvania

6% of Pennsylvania residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2015). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Pennsylvania residents in 2015 was $49,745, although rural per-capita income lagged at $38,255. The ERS reports, based on 2015 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Pennsylvania is 14.1%, compared with 13.0% in urban areas of the state. 12.6% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 10.5% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2011-2015 ACS data reported by ERS. The 2015 unemployment rate in rural Pennsylvania is 5.8%, while in urban Pennsylvania it is 5.1% (USDA-ERS).

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


Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health
Phone: 814.863.8214
Works to improve the health of rural communities and their residents by compiling, analyzing, and disseminating information to policy makers. Also works to encourage partnerships and identify opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.
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There are more organizations related to Pennsylvania in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 5/2/2014