Texas is referred to as "The Lone Star State" that is symbolized by the star on the 1836 flag of the republic. It is a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. Texas is the top producer of oil in the nation, but it also leads in beef production, cotton production as well as the space industry and technology. Texas covers 261,797 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 26,059,203 people – 3,021,290 living in rural Texas (USDA-ERS). Austin, the capital, is located in the south-central region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 80.6% of the state’s population is white, 12.3% Black/African American, 4.2% is Asian, and 38.2% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 420 hospitals in Texas (Kaiser, 2011), 149 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 80 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 313 Rural Health Clinics in Texas (Kaiser, 2012), and 64 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 345 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most Texans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 24.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2011). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Texans in 2012 was $42,638, although rural per-capita income lagged at $36,010. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 20.5% exists in rural Texas, compared to a 17.6% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 23.3% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 18.6% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Texas is 6.7% and in urban Texas is 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; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List
Directory of Rural Health
Contact information for people and organizations in Texas with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Texas in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 7/1/2013