The name "Utah" comes from the American Indian Ute tribe and means "people of the mountains." A series of mountains, including the Wasatch Range, runs north and south through the middle of the state, and the Uintah Mountains, extend east and west through the northeast portion. Some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States are found in Utah and the state is home to four national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyon Lands, and Zion. Utah covers 82,144 square miles, with a 2014 estimated population of 2,942,902 people – 315,518 living in rural Utah (USDA-ERS). Salt Lake City, the largest city and the capital, is located in the northern region of the state. The state’s other large cities include West Valley City and Provo. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 91.4% of the state’s population is white, 1.3% is African American, 2.4% is Asian, 1.5% is American Indian & Alaska Native, and 13.5% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census, 2014).

Utah Rural Healthcare Facilities

Utah Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 47 hospitals in Utah (Kaiser, 2014), 18 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 11 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 12/2015). There are 16 Rural Health Clinics in Utah (CMS, 2015), and 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 40 sites in the state (NACHC, 2013).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Utah

Most Utahns have some form of health insurance coverage, although 12% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2014). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Utahns in 2014 was $37,664 although rural per-capita income rose above at $40,075. The ERS reports, based on 2010-2014 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Utah is 14.4%, compared with 12.6% in urban areas of the state. 10.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 8.8% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2010-2014 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Utah is at 4.4%, while in urban Utah it is at 3.7% (USDA-ERS, 2014).

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


Utah Office of Primary Care and Rural Health
Phone: 801.273.6618
Email: opcrh@utah.gov
Collects and disseminates information, provides technical assistance, coordinates rural health interests statewide, and supports efforts to improve recruitment and retention of health professionals.
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There are more organizations related to Utah in the organizations section.