As the Sunshine State, Florida is noted for its warm climate, beautiful beaches and numerous recreational opportunities. Florida covers 53,927 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 19,317,568 people, including 703,865 people living in 30 rural Florida counties (USDA-ERS). An additional 1.1 million persons were estimated by the U.S. Census to live in the rural portions of Florida’s 37 urban counties. Tallahassee is the state capital and the largest cities are Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. According to the latest estimates, 78.3% of the state’s population is white, 16.6% is Black/African American, and 23.2% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (Census, 2012).
There are 213 hospitals in Florida (Kaiser, 2011), 21 of which are located in rural areas (SORH, 2012). The state has 13 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 143 Rural Health Clinics in Florida (Kaiser, 2012) and 44 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 320 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011). All of Florida’s 67 counties are designated in part or whole as primary care health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).
20.0% of Florida residents are uninsured (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), the average per-capita income for Florida residents in 2012 was $41,012, although rural per-capita income lagged at $30,639. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 24.0% exists in rural Florida, compared to 16.9% in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 22.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 13.9% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Florida is 8.5%, while in urban Florida it is 8.6% (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; Florida State Office of Rural Health (SORH); Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Florida with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Florida in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 2/15/2013