Iowa is known as the Hawkeye State, as a tribute to Indian leader Chief Black Hawk. Iowa is bordered by the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. This state ranks first in the nation with corn and soybean production as well as in hog production from its 93,000 farms. Iowa covers 55,869 square miles, with a 2014 estimated population of 3,107,126 people - 1,286,084 living in rural Iowa (USDA-ERS). Des Moines, the state capital, is located in the south-central region of the state. The state's largest cities are Des Moines, Davenport and Cedar Rapids. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 92.5% of the state’s population is white, 3.3% is Black/African-American, 0.5% is American Indian, 2.0% is Asian, and 5.5% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2013).

Iowa Rural Healthcare Facilities

Iowa Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 118 hospitals in Iowa (Kaiser, 2013), and two VA hospitals. The state has 82 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 4/2015). 56 rural hospitals are also recognized as the public health agency for the county. There are 152 Rural Health Clinics in Iowa (CMS, 2015), 18 regional and affiliate AgriSafe Clinics serving farm and agricultural clients, and 14 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 91 sites in the state (NACHC, 2013).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural Iowa

Most Iowans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 9.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2013). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for Iowans in 2013 was $44,763, although rural per-capita lagged at $44,349. Estimates from 2013 indicate a poverty rate of 12.4% exists in rural Iowa, as well as 12.8% level in urban areas of the state. The ERS reports, based on 2009-2013 ACS data, that 10.4% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 8.0% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural Iowa is at 4.6% while in urban Iowa it is at 4.3% (USDA-ERS, 2014).

For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.

Data Sources
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Rural Health Clinic List; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; National Association of Community Health Centers: Key Health Center Data By State; U.S. Census Bureau: State & County Quick Facts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets


Iowa State Office of Rural Health
Phone: 515.281.7224
Helps rural communities and organizations identify and resolve issues, and build rural health infrastructure. Provides rural health advocacy and outreach, coordination of rural health resources, and consultation to communities and health care providers in rural Iowa communities. Part of the Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery Systems, which in turn is part of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
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There are more organizations related to Iowa in the organizations section.