California is nicknamed "The Golden State" because of its rich history of gold mining that includes the infamous California Gold Rush of 1848. Known for its beautiful landscapes, California is where you will find the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe, and the giant Sequoia and Redwood trees. California covers 155,959 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 38,041,430 people – 836,441 living in rural California (USDA-ERS). Sacramento, the capital, is located in the north-central region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 73.7% of the state’s population is white, 6.6% is African American/Black, 13.9% is Asian, 1.7% is American Indian and Alaska Native, and 38.2% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 345 hospitals in California (Kaiser, 2011), 34 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 32 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 293 Rural Health Clinics in California (Kaiser, 2012), and 121 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 1,032 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most Californians have some form of health insurance coverage, although 20.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Californians in 2011 was $43,646, although rural per-capita income lagged at $35,452. Estimates from 2011 indicate a poverty rate of 18.2% exists in rural California, compared to a 16.6% level in urban areas of the State. 2011 ACS data reports that 13.0% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 19.3% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural California is at 12.1%, while in urban California it is at 10.4% (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 California with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to California in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 3/25/2013