Tennessee stretches from the scenic Great Smoky Mountains of the east to the banks of the Mississippi River in the west. Tennessee covers 41,217 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 6,456,243 people – with 1,490,081 living in rural Tennessee (USDA-ERS). Nashville is the state capital. The state’s largest cities are Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 79.3% of the state’s population is white, 17.0% is Black/African-American, and 4.8% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 133 hospitals in Tennessee (Kaiser, 2011), 16 of which are identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 63 Rural Health Clinics in Tennessee (Kaiser, 2012) and 23 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 187 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
14.0% of Tennessee residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Tennessee residents in 2012 was $38,752, although rural per-capita income lagged at $30,902. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 20.8% exists in rural Tennessee, compared to 17.2% in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 21.6% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 14.4% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Tennessee is 9.8%, while in urban Tennessee, it is 7.5% (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; Tennessee State Office of Rural Health
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Tennessee with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Tennessee in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 3/5/2014