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Rural Health Information Hub

Formerly the
Rural Assistance Center

United States

The United States covers 3,537,438 square miles, with a 2016 estimated population of 323,127,513 people – 46,110,584 living in rural areas (USDA-ERS). According to 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 77.1% of the nation’s population is white, 13.3% is African-American, 5.6% is Asian, 1.2% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 17.6% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Rural Healthcare Facilities

There are 4,862 hospitals in the nation (Kaiser, 2015). 1,341 hospitals are identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 7/2017). There are 4,177 Rural Health Clinics (CMS, 2017), and 1,375 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 9,754 sites (NACHC, 2015).

Selected Social Determinants of Health

Most Americans have some form of health insurance coverage, however 9% of the nation's residents are uninsured (Kaiser, 2015). According to the Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for all Americans in 2015 was $48,112, although rural per-capita income lagged at $37,877. The ERS reports, based on 2016 ACS data, that the poverty rate in the rural U.S. is 12.1%, compared with 11.3% nationwide. 15.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 13.3% across the nation lacks a high school diploma according to 2011-2015 ACS data reported by ERS. The rural unemployment rate is at 5.2% while it is 5.5% nationwide (USDA-ERS, 2016).

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