The name "Utah" comes from the American Indian Ute tribe and means "people of the mountains." A series of mountains, including the Wasatch Range, runs north and south through the middle of the state, and the Uintah Mountains, extend east and west through the northeast portion. Some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States are found in Utah and the state is home to four national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyon Lands, and Zion. Utah covers 82,144 square miles, with a 2012 estimated population of 2,855,287 people – 307,960 living in rural Utah (USDA-ERS). Salt Lake City, the largest city and the capital, is located in the northern region of the state. The state’s other large cities include West Valley City and Provo. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 91.8% of the state’s population is white, 1.3% is African American, 2.2% is Asian, 1.5% is American Indian & Alaska Native, and 13.3% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2012).
There are 46 hospitals in Utah (Kaiser, 2011), 18 of which are located in rural areas (North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, Dec. 2008). The state has 11 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (June 2013). There are 18 Rural Health Clinics in Utah (Kaiser, 2012), and 11 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 44 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).
Most Utahns 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 Utahns in 2012 was $35,430 although rural per-capita income rose above at $35,666. Estimates from 2012 indicate a poverty rate of 13.7% exists in rural Utah, compared to a 12.9% level in urban areas of the state. 2012 ACS data reports that 11.0% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 9.2% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Utah is at 6.4%, while in urban Utah it is at 5.6% (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 Utah with an interest in rural health.
There are more organizations related to Utah in the organizations section.
Last Reviewed: 6/25/2013