Missouri is often referred to as the Gateway to the West. It is named for a Sioux Indian tribe, whose name translates to “the wooden canoe people.” Missouri covers 68,886 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 6,021,988 people – 1,557,193 living in rural Missouri (USDA-ERS). Jefferson City, the capital, is located in the central region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 83.9% of the state’s population is white, 11.7% is Black/African-American, 1.8% is Asian, 3.7% is of Hispanic/Latino origin, 0.5% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and 2.0% other/multiple races. (2012).
There are 120 hospitals in Missouri (Kaiser, 2011). The state has 35 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals by the Flex Monitoring Team (June 2013). There are 383 Rural Health Clinics in Missouri (Missouri Office of Primary Care and Rural Health, 2013), and 21 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 178 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most Missourians have some form of health insurance coverage, although 14.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Missourians in 2012 was $39,133 although rural per-capita income lagged at $31,518. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 20.0% exists in rural Missouri, compared to a 14.9% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 17.6% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 11.1% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Missouri is at 7.4%, while in urban Missouri it is at 6.8% (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; Missouri Office of Primary Care and Rural Health; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List;
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Missouri with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Missouri in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 2/3/2014