Rural Hospital Closures, 1990-2000: Community Profiles and Economic Indicators Before and After the Event

Lead researcher:
Project completed:
December 2004
This study investigated the economic impact of hospital closures in non- metropolitan counties, taking into account the economic characteristics and employment trends that may have preceded the event. Between 1990 and 2000 there were 460 community hospital closures in the U.S. that did not result from merger or acquisition. Over one third of these were in rural counties. Some hospital closures occur in economically "at-risk" communities, but others may fail even though they are located in economically healthy areas. In both instances, the loss of the facility is likely to have an impact on the economic health of the surrounding communities. The study included the counties of location for 129 non-metropolitan facilities identified as having stopped operations between 1990 and 1997. Using data from the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, AHA surveys, Medicare public use files and the Area Resource Files, the populations and the commercial base of these communities will be studied for a period of up to five years before and three years following each closure.


  • The Effect of Rural Hospital Closures on Community Economic Health
    Journal Article
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 04/2006
    This article describes the effect of hospital closures on the local economies based on a study of county-level economic data for 1990-2000 in rural counties experiencing hospital closures.