Colorado, known for its beautiful Rocky Mountain range, has the highest average elevation with more mountains reaching greater than 14,000 feet than any other state. Theodore Roosevelt perceived it as the Switzerland of America. The state was given the Spanish name for red which is the color of the Colorado River. Colorado covers 103,718 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 5,187,582 people – 685,824 living in rural Colorado (USDA-ERS). Denver, the capital, is located in the north-central region of the state. Colorado’s largest cities are Denver, Colorado Springs and Aurora. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 88.1% of the state’s population is white, 4.3% is African American/Black, 3.0% is Asian, 1.6% is American Indian and Alaska Native, and 21.0% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).
There are 82 hospitals in Colorado (Kaiser, 2011), 40 of which are located in rural areas (Colorado Hospital Association, 2011). Colorado has 29 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 52 Rural Health Clinics in Colorado (CRHC), and 15 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 153 sites in the state (Colorado Community Health Network).
Across the state, 18% of Coloradans lack any health insurance (County Health Rankings, 2013). However, in some rural counties the rate of uninsured is as high as 20% (Colorado Health Institute, 2008). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Coloradans in 2012 was $45,775 although rural per-capita income lagged at $39,544. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 15.4% exists in rural Colorado, compared to a 13.3% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 12.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 9.7% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Colorado is at 7.9%, while in urban Colorado it is at 8.0% (USDA-ERS, 2012).For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.
Colorado Community Health Network; Colorado Health Institute; Colorado Hospital Association; Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC); Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; US Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Colorado with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Colorado in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 12/13/2013