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West Virginia

West Virginia covers 24,078 square miles, with a 2017 estimated population of 1,815,857 people – with 693,506 people living in rural areas (USDA-ERS). Charleston is the state capital. The state’s largest cities are Charleston, Huntington and Parkersburg. According to 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 93.6% of the state’s population is white, 3.6% is African-American, 0.8% is Asian, 0.2% is American Indian or Alaska Native, and 1.6% is of Hispanic or Latino origin.

West Virginia Rural Healthcare Facilities

West Virginia Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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According to, as of July 2018 West Virginia had:

  • 20 Critical Access Hospitals
  • 50 Rural Health Clinics
  • 253 Federally Qualified Health Centers located outside of Urbanized Areas
  • 15 short term hospitals located outside of Urbanized Areas

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural West Virginia

6% of West Virginia residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2017). According to the Economic Research Service, the average per capita income for West Virginia residents in 2016 was $36,624, although rural per capita income lagged at $33,306. The ERS reports, based on 2017 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural West Virginia is 20.8%, compared with 18.0% in urban areas of the state. 17.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 12.9% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2012-2016 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural West Virginia is 5.9%, while in urban West Virginia, it is 4.8% (USDA-ERS, 2017).

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


West Virginia Division of Rural Health & Recruitment
Phone: 304.558.0644
Serves as the focal point for rural health issues in West Virginia. Addresses rural health care needs by planning and developing policy, providing technical assistance and managing statewide coordination of rural health activities. A division of the WV Office of Community Health Systems and Health Promotion.
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There are more organizations related to West Virginia in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 7/18/2017