Idaho is known for its rugged beauty and millions of acres of wilderness. The Idaho landscape ranges from subalpine forests to desert, mountains to fertile farms, lakes and waterfalls to canyons and gorges. Idaho has the greatest stand of white pine trees in the country and is first in the country in production of silver. Idaho covers 82,747 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 1,595,728 people – 543,250 living in rural Idaho (USDA-ERS). Boise, the capital, is located in the southwestern region of the state. The state’s largest cities include Boise, Nampa, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93.8% of the state’s population is white, 1.7% is American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.4% is Asian and 11.6% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 40 hospitals in Idaho (Kaiser, 2011), 27 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 27 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 45 Rural Health Clinics in Idaho (Kaiser, 2012), and 11 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 65 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most Idahoans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 18.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Idahoans in 2012 was $34,481, although rural per-capita income lagged at $33,825. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 17.9% exists in rural Idaho, compared to an 15.0% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 14.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 9.8% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Idaho is at 7.3%, while in urban Idaho it is at 7.0% (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 Idaho with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Idaho in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 2/4/2013