Arkansas, officially "The Natural State," is a state of mountains, valleys, dense woodland and fertile plains. Arkansas covers 52,068 square miles, with a 2013 estimated population of 2,959,373 people - 1,152,099 living in rural Arkansas (USDA-ERS). The state capital is Little Rock. The largest cities are Little Rock, Fort Smith and Fayetteville. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 79.9% of the state’s population is white, 15.6% is Black/African-American, and 6.9% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (Census, 2013).

Arkansas Rural Healthcare Facilities

Arkansas Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 83 hospitals in Arkansas (Kaiser, 2012), 29 of which are identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 11/2014). The state has 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers providing services at 99 sites (NACHC, 2013). There are also 76 Rural Health Clinics in Arkansas (CMS, 2015).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Arkansas

15.0% of Arkansas residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2013). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Arkansas residents in 2013 was $36,698, although rural per-capita income lagged at $32.697. Estimates from 2013 indicate a poverty rate of 22.0% exists in rural Arkansas, compared with 17.8% in urban areas of the state. The ERS reports, based on 2009-2013 ACS data, that 19.0% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 14.4% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Arkansas is 8.6%, while in urban Arkansas it is 6.9% (USDA-ERS, 2013).

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

Data Sources
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Rural Health Clinic List; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; National Association of Community Health Centers: Key Health Center Data By State; U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets


Arkansas Office of Rural Health & Primary Care
Phone: 501.280.4560
Promotes the development of community-based health care services and systems throughout Arkansas to ensure that well managed, quality health services are available to all citizens. This is a component of the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health.
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There are more organizations related to Arkansas in the organizations section.