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 2013 estimated population of 19,552,860 people, including 702,636 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, 78.1% of the state’s population is white, 16.7% is Black/African American, and 23.6% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (Census, 2013).

Florida Rural Healthcare Facilities

Florida Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 216 hospitals in Florida (Kaiser, 2012), 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 (November 2014). 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).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Florida

19.0% of Florida residents are uninsured (Kaiser, 2013). According to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), the average per-capita income for Florida residents in 2013 was $41,497, although rural per-capita income lagged at $30,844. Estimates from 2013 indicate a poverty rate of 24.3% exists in rural Florida, compared to 16.8% in urban areas of the state. The ERS reports, based on 2009-2013 ACS date, that 22.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 13.6% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in both rural and urban Florida is 7.2% (USDA-ERS, 2013).

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

Data Sources
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


Florida Office of Rural Health
Phone: 850.245.4446
Addresses the healthcare needs of the state's rural citizens. A division of the Florida Department of Health.
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