Alabama is named after the river which is named after a noted southern Indian tribe whose habitat was in what is now central Alabama. Alabama covers 50,744 square miles, with a 2011 estimated population of 4,802,740 people - 1,364,193 living in rural Alabama (USDA- ERS). The state capital is Montgomery. The largest cities are Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 70.1% of the state’s population is white, 26.5% is Black/African-American, and 4.0% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2011).
There are 105 hospitals in Alabama (Kaiser, 2010), 3 of which are identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (March 2013). There are 77 Rural Health Clinics in Alabama (Kaiser, 2012) and 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 140 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2010). 14.0% of Alabama residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011).
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Alabama residents in 2009 was $33,411, although rural per-capita income lagged at $29,226. Estimates from 2010 specify a poverty rate of 21.8% in rural Alabama, compared with 17.8% in urban areas of the state. 2010 ACS data finds that 23.7% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 16.5% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma. The unemployment rate in rural Alabama is 10.1%, while in urban Alabama it is 8.6% (USDA-ERS, 2011).
For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA)
Offers economic support services in the state of Alabama through their divisions: Communications and Information; Water Resources; Energy; Community and Economic Development; Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety; Workforce Development; and Surplus Property. It also contains a Grant Resources Center.
Alabama Department of Human Resources
Works to partner with communities to promote family stability and provide for the safety and self-sufficiency of vulnerable Alabamians.
Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)
Works with the community to preserve and protect the public's health, to provide caring and quality services, and to serve the people of Alabama by assuring conditions in which they can be healthy.
Alabama Department of Public Health: Office of Minority Health
Supports state efforts to improve the health of racial and ethnic minorities.
Alabama Department of Public Health: Office of Primary Care and Rural Health
Facilitates and supports activities which improve access to health care services for rural Alabamians, with special concern concern for children, the elderly, minorities and other medically underserved vulnerable populations.
Alabama Hospital Association (AlaHA)
Assists member hospitals in effectively serving the health care needs of Alabama through advocacy, representation, education and service. Members of the association include primarily hospitals and health systems, as well as other companies and organizations related to health care.
Alabama Regional Extension Center (ALREC)
Alabama State Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that helps health care providers become meaningful users of electronic health records by providing information and technical assistance.
Alabama Rural Coalition for the Homeless (ARCH)
Promotes and supports the development of housing for people who are homeless through safe, decent and affordable housing.
Alabama Rural Health Association (ARHA)
Strives to preserve and enhance the health of the rural citizens of Alabama.
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
Supports economic and social development in all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Community Action Association of Alabama
Works to reduce poverty by better focusing available local, state, private, and federal resources to assist low-income individuals and families to acquire useful skills and knowledge, gain access to new opportunities and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Community Resource Group (CRG)
Assists rural communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas to solve water and waste disposal problems and provides information technology guidance to nonprofit organizations.
Delta Regional Authority (DRA)
Consists of a federal-state partnership serving 252 counties and parishes in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Designed to remedy severe and chronic economic distress by stimulating economic development and fostering partnerships that will have a positive impact on the region's economy.
HUD Community Development Block Grants: Alabama
Contact information for the State CDBG program. Provides funding for community development projects.
Institute for Rural Health Research at the University of Alabama
Performs ongoing research projects focusing on current health issues that affect people living in rural areas.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region (NN/LM SE/A)
Works to improve access to health information for health care providers, librarians, and the public in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.
Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC)
One of four regional rural development centers in the nation. Works to strengthen the region's 29 land-grant institutions in addressing rural development issues. Serves a 13 state area in the Southern region which includes TX, LA, AR, OK, AL, MS, GA, FL, KY, SC, NC, VA, and TN.
Southern Rural Health Care - Alabama
Provides home health services, primary care, and services for the elderly and disabled in nearly all areas of rural Alabama.
Tuskegee Alabama Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
Addresses the problems related to health resource shortages prevalent in rural areas of Alabama.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Alabama
Works to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing. The HUD state office provides information about HUD housing programs and local contacts for the state.
USDA Rural Development Alabama State Office
Committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. The Rural Development State Office provides information about Rural Development programs and applications for financial assistance.
Volunteers of America Southeast (VOASE)
Serves people along the Alabama-Mississippi-Georgia Gulf Coast who are hungry, homeless, and otherwise in need of assistance. Offers programs for children, chronic mental illness, hard of hearing, community enhancement, elderly, housing, and substance abuse.
Alabama Health Centers Data
Provides access to information on Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) for the state. Includes a map of FQHC locations, as well as information on the populations served by health centers, services provided, staff, patient visits, costs of care, and use of electronic health information.
Alabama KIDS COUNT Data Center (KCDC)
Provides data on child well-being for the state.
Basic demographic and economic statistics for the state, with links to county-level data.
Alabama Rural Health Association Publications
Provides links to a wide range of Alabama Rural Health publications, including detailed County Health Status Indicator Reports for individual counties.
Alabama Rural Health Links
Provides web links to Alabama and national resources related to rural health.
Alabama State Health Facts
The latest state-level data on demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation. Individual state profiles and 50-state comparisons.
ERS State Fact Sheet: Alabama
Lists statistics on population, educational attainment, employment, income, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for the state.
Kid One: Transporting Children to Better Health
Delivers children and expectant mothers, with limited or no transportation access, to health care services throughout the state of Alabama.
National Healthcare Quality Report State Snapshot: Alabama
Health care quality report for the state, based on the National Healthcare Quality Report.
NN/LM Southeastern Atlantic Region: Alabama Resources
Overview of the state, with links to state agencies, health associations, and other resources for Alabama.
Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC)
Comprised of 14 accredited schools of public health that serve in a national capacity to meet preparedness and response training and education needs of the U. S. public health workforce. Funded schools are located in AL, AZ, FL, IA, IL, MA, MD, MN, NY, OK, NC, TX, and WA.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Tools
Maps & Map Collections
Alabama Rural Definition Maps
Geographic coverage: Alabama
Set of maps showing the geographic coverage provided by 9 different rural definitions for the state.
Hospitals Performing Obstetrics in 1980 vs. 2011
Geographic coverage: Alabama
Depicts the loss of rural obstetrical service in Alabama counties from 1980 to 2011. Concludes that 46 of Alabama's 55 rural counties had a hospital performing obstetrics in 1980, but in 2011, only 19 of the 55 rural counties still offer these services.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Maps
Community Resource Group (CRG) Loan Fund
Loans to help small, rural communities and tribal nations with water and wastewater projects.
Delta Health Care Services Grant Program
Provides financial assistance for the development of health care services, health care cooperatives, health education programs, health care training programs, and public health-related facilities in the Delta Region.
Delta Regional Authority States Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP)
Grants to help Delta communities create jobs and improve infrastructure.
Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants
Funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading.
Gannett Foundation Community Action Grants
Supports local organizations with funding priority given to programs that focus on education and neighborhood improvement, economic development, youth development, community problem-solving, assistance to disadvantaged people, environmental conservation, and cultural enrichment.
Georgia-Pacific Foundation Grants
Grants for organizations projects that focus on education, the environment, community enhancement, affordable housing, arts and culture, and entrepreneurship.
National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeaster/Atlantic Region Funding
Provides funding for National Network of Libraries members located in the Southeaster/Atlantic region to assist them in conducting outreach and technology projects.
Rural Health IT Workforce Loan Fund
Loans for health care providers in underserved communities to successfully adopt and utilize a Health IT system.
Wells Fargo Corporate Giving Programs
Funding for nonprofit organizations in the areas of community development, education, human services, arts and culture, civic responsibility, and environmental consciousness.
Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund
Awards grants in various rural and urban areas where Weyerhaeuser does business. Funds programs that work in the areas of affordable housing and shelter; education and youth development; environmental stewardship; and human services.
Inactive Funding Opportunities -
Lists additional funding programs for this state that are not currently accepting applications. Programs that are inactive may be offered again in the future.
Documents, Reports and Other Publications
Alabama Veterans Rural Health Initiative: A Preliminary Evaluation of Unmet Health Care Needs
Author(s): Lori L. Davis, Stefan G. Kertesz, Ann F. Mahaney-Price, et al.
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Sociological Association
Reports on the Alabama Veterans Rural Health Initiative, which aims to better understand the health care needs, health status, and barriers to care for rural veterans.
Journal citation: Journal of Rural Social Sciences Volume 26 Issue 3 Pages: 14-31
Around the Country: Alabama Doctor Prevails Through Fire and Rain
Author(s): Candi Helseth
Sponsoring organization: Rural Assistance Center
Highlights Dr. Regina Benjamin, who has kept the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Ala., running despite devastation from two hurricanes and a fire.
Journal citation: Rural Monitor Volume 2007 Issue Fall
Date: 11 / 2007
Building Medical Homes: Lessons from Eight States with Emerging Programs
Author(s): Neva Kaye, Jason Buxbaum, Mary Takach
Sponsoring organization: Commonwealth Fund
Profiles eight states that are at different stages in the development and implementation of a medical home program. Includes Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia.
Date: 12 / 2011
Collaborative Leadership: Partnerships Between Regional Development Organizations and Community Foundations
Author(s): Parrish Bergquist, Kathy Nothstine, Anju Chopra
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Development Organizations
Explores the strategies and rewards behind
eight partnerships between community foundations and
RDOs (Rural Development Organizations) in Alabama, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Virginia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Date: 07 / 2012
Demographic and Economic Profile: Alabama
Author(s): Kathleen K. Miller
Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute
Discusses demographic and economic data including population, race, education, age, poverty, income, and more. Includes maps and graphics.
Date: 02 / 2009
Exploring the Role of Regional Transportation Projects as Rural Economy Drivers
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Development Organizations
Describes case studies in Alabama, Oregon, and Vermont that demonstrate successful partnerships between regional development organizations (RDOs) and local governments in transportation-led economic development projects.
Internet Connectivity Among Rural Alabama Veterans: Baseline Findings From the Alabama Veterans Rural Health Initiative Project
Author(s): Rebecca Allen, Rosanna Guadagno, Patricia Parmelee, et al.
Explores the role of the Internet in providing health information and information regarding VA services to rural Caucasian and African American veterans in the southeastern USA.
Journal citation: Rural and Remote Health Volume 12 Issue 2138
Date: 01 / 2013
Minds Matter: Making the Connection Between Mental Health and Community Well-Being
Sponsoring organization: Foundation for the Mid-South
Describes the mental health status of people living in both rural and urban Missouri, Louisiana, and Alabama. Examines how some of their health centers implement holistic approaches to overcoming barriers and improving the mental wellness of individuals, and thus, better community wellness. Information is based on data from 2006-2009.
Perceptions Regarding Electronic Health Record Implementation Among Health Information Management Professionals in Alabama: A Statewide Survey and Analysis
Author(s): Shannon H. Houser, Lucretia A. Johnson
Summarizes results of a study that assessed the factors, benefits, and barriers associated with implementing an electronic health records system in Alabama's rural and urban hospitals.
Date: 05 / 2008
Race, Class, and Community in a Southern Forest-Dependent Region
Author(s): Chris R. Colocousis, Luke T. Rogers
Sponsoring organization: Carsey Institute
Addresses community issues of four counties in Alabama and finds that African Americans in the "Black Belt" of Alabama are disproportionately poor and employed in lower-skill jobs compared to their Caucasian counterparts.
Rural Dropout Problem: An Invisible Achievement Gap
Author(s): Jerry Johnson, Marty Strange, Karen Madden
Sponsoring organization: Rural School and Community Trust
Reviews high school dropout rates and related factors in rural high schools throughout 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
Small Business Profile: Alabama
Sponsoring organization: Small Business Administration
Profile of the state's economy, covering the number of firms, industry composition, small business income, banking, women and minority business ownership, and employment.
Date: 2 / 2013
Southern Rural Development Center: 2011 Annual Report: Regional Innovations, National Applications
Sponsoring organization: Southern Rural Development Center
Describes the programs and progress of the Southern Rural Development Center, one of four regional centers coordinating rural development research and extension education programs.
See also: State-by-State Resources: Documents
Alabama - Coosa County Board of Education
The Rural Health Care Services Outreach program was developed to provide Coosa County residents mental health support.
Rural Assistance Program for Churches and Schools
The Rural Assistance Program for Churches and Schools (RAPCS) provides access to health care for
the disadvantaged populations in Greene, Sumter and Marengo Counties.
Monroe Health Foundation Dental Clinic
Good oral health habits can be developed at an early age. However, many children and adolescents living in rural areas do not have sufficient access to affordable dental health services. This is especially true in the area surrounding Monroeville, Alabama, where children and adolescents covered by Medicaid experienced numerous barriers to receiving oral health education and treatment services.