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Rural Health

Rural areas have unique populations, infrastructure and health systems


There are significant regional and demographic differences among rural communities in the United States. Although their locations may differ, many rural Americans share common beliefs and values, such as resilience, self-reliance, and pride in the communities where they live.

These beliefs, coupled with the close social connections, can contribute to successful health interventions. However, some elements of rural communities can make population health interventions more challenging.1 This may mean developing and evaluating new interventions or adapting existing interventions to account for the specific demographic, economic, and health care needs of individual communities.

CDC Rural Health Policy Briefs

To address health disparities in rural areas, you may want to consider using policies that address population health. These policies can reach beyond health care and offer opportunities to make an impact where people live, learn, work, and play.

CDC rural health policy briefs provide examples of policy options to address public health issues. They include information on the background and significance of the issue, as well as case examples.

NCHS Data Briefs

Healthcare Providers & Facilities

Healthcare Services

Child and Adult Mortality

Infant Mortality

Maternal and Infant Health

Tribal Health

Rural-Focused MMWRs

Featured Resources

CDC Rural Health Research and Resources

CDC’s rural health website includes information and examples of successful public health interventions for rural communities. The website also hosts CDC’s MMWR series which provide data on health issues affecting rural Americans.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)

FORHP advises the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services about health care issues affecting rural communities.

Rural Health Information (RHI) Hub

The RHIhub is a clearinghouse of information on rural health issues. It also provides current resources on rural health care and population health including toolkits and models for programs that work in rural communities.

Rural Health Research Gateway

The Rural Health Research Gateway provides access to research conducted by the Rural Health Research Centers, including rural health research products and journal articles.