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Tennessee covers 41,217 square miles, with a 2017 estimated population of 6,715,984 people – with 1,507,213 living in rural Tennessee (USDA-ERS). Nashville is the state capital. The state’s largest cities are Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville. According to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 78.6% of the state’s population is white, 17.1% is African-American, 1.9% is Asian, 0.5% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 5.5% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Tennessee Rural Healthcare Facilities

Tennessee Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 120 hospitals in Tennessee (Kaiser, 2016), 15 of which are identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 7/2018). There are 112 Rural Health Clinics in Tennessee (CMS, 2017) and 29 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 192 sites in the state (NACHC, 2017).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Tennessee

11% of Tennessee residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2016). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for Tennessee residents in 2016 was $43,326, although rural per capita income lagged at $33,930. The ERS reports, based on 2016 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Tennessee is 18.7%, compared with 14.9% in urban areas of the state. 18.7% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 12.6% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2012-2016 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Tennessee is 4.4%, while in urban Tennessee, it is 3.5% (USDA-ERS, 2017).

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


Tennessee Office of Rural Health
Phone: 615.741.0380
Works to improve and enhance the accessibility, availability, and affordability of quality healthcare in Tennessee by creating a central focus and coordination of rural healthcare resources. A division of the Tennessee Department of Health.
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There are more organizations related to Tennessee in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 12/29/2017