Nebraska, the Cornhusker State, is named after its largest river, the Platte, which a local American Indian tribe called “Nebraska” meaning “flat water.” Nebraska is also home to three American Indian reservations. Nebraska covers 76,872 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 1,855,525 people – 671,549 living in rural Nebraska (USDA-ERS). Lincoln, the capital, is located in the south-eastern region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Lincoln, Omaha and Bellevue. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 89.9% of the state’s population is white, 4.8% is Black/African-American, 1.3% is American Indian & Alaska Native, 2.0% is Asian, and 9.7% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 27 licensed general acute care hospitals in Nebraska (Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, 2013). The state has 65 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 138 Rural Health Clinics in Nebraska (Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, 2013), and 6 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 25 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011). Nebraska's not-for-profit hospitals and public health departments are connected to a telehealth backbone that uses T1 lines and cable lines for connectivity. Additional CRHC's will be added to the same network in the future.
Most Nebraskans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 13.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Nebraskans in 2012 was $45,012 although rural per-capita income lagged at $44,937. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 12.3% exists in rural Nebraska, compared to an 13.1% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 10.6% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 9.0% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Nebraska is at 3.6%, while in urban Nebraska it is at 4.2% (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; Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Nebraska with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Nebraska in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 10/4/2013