Although historians disagree about the meaning and derivation of the place name Arizona, it is believed to have derived from the words "Al Shon" of the Tohono O'odham/Pima Indian Nation meaning "Place of the Little Spring." The Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is located in the northern part of the state. Arizona covers 113,635 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 6,553,255 people – 682,657 living in rural Arizona (USDA-ERS). Phoenix, the capital, is located in the south-central region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 84.3% of the state’s population is white, 5.3% is American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.5% is African American/Black, 3.1% is Asian and 30.2% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 73 hospitals in Arizona (Kaiser, 2010), 20 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 14 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 17 Rural Health Clinics in Arizona (Kaiser, 2012), and 16 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 118 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2010). Most Arizonans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 18.0% of the state’s residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011).
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Arizonans in 2011 was $35,061, although rural per-capita income lagged at $28,358. Estimates from 2011 indicate a poverty rate of 25.4% exists in rural Arizona, compared to a 18.2% level in urban areas of the state. 2011 ACS data reports that 18.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 14.4% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Arizona is at 12.2%, while in urban Arizona it is at 9.2% (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
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Arizona with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Arizona in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 4/17/2013