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Washington covers 66,544 square miles, with a 2018 estimated population of 7,535,591 people – 754,648 living in rural Washington (USDA-ERS). Olympia, the capital, is located in the western region of the state. The state's largest cities are Seattle, Spokane and Tacoma. According to 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 78.9% of the state's population is white, 4.3% is African-American, 9.3% is Asian, 1.9% is American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.8% is Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 12.9% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

Washington Rural Healthcare Facilities

Washington Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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According to, as of October 2019 Washington had:

  • 39 Critical Access Hospitals
  • 116 Rural Health Clinics
  • 71 Federally Qualified Health Center sites located outside of Urbanized Areas
  • 6 short term hospitals located outside of Urbanized Areas

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Washington

6% of Washington residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2017). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for Washingtonians in 2018 was $62,026, although rural per capita income lagged at $45,182. The ERS reports, based on 2018 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural Washington is 14.0%, compared with 9.9% in urban areas of the state. 11.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 8.6% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2014-2018 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural Washington is 5.9%, while in urban Washington it is 4.4% (USDA-ERS, 2018).

For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.

Data Sources
Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets


Washington State Office of Community Health Systems, Rural Health and Primary Care Office
Phone: 360.236.2800
Supports rural and underserved communities in the state of Washington by providing assistance and resources for health systems planning and development to improve health and access to healthcare.
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There are more organizations related to Washington in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 10/19/2018