Arkansas, officially "The Natural State," is a state of mountains, valleys, dense woodland and fertile plains. Arkansas covers 52,068 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 2,949,131 people - 1,157,921 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, 80.0% of the state’s population is white, 15.6% is Black/African-American, and 6.8% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (Census, 2012).
There are 84 hospitals in Arkansas (Kaiser, 2011), 29 of which are identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). The state has 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers providing services at 77 sites (Kaiser, 2011). There are also 73 Rural Health Clinics in Arkansas (Kaiser, 2012).
18.0% of Arkansas residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Arkansas residents in 2012 was $35,437, although rural per-capita income lagged at $31,464. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 22.5% exists in rural Arkansas, compared with 17.7% in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 19.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 14.7% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Arkansas is 8.4%, while in urban Arkansas it is 6.7% (USDA-ERS, 2012).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 Arkansas with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Arkansas in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 3/21/2013