A Chartbook of Rural Population Health

Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2017
Project completed:
February 2023

Health policy continues to increase its focus on population health. Public and private payers often include elements of population health in payment policy. Likewise, policymakers and practitioners realize population health is a key component for both healthcare delivery and policy strategies and outcomes. Although there are numerous data sources and compendia for examining population health, especially outcomes, they often lack the elements necessary for use in rural health policy. For example, not many of the existing reports capture rural-urban differences, but instead focus on statewide rates, which tend to obfuscate important intra-state disparities. For reports (or data sources) that include county-based rates, some county-based datasets may have high rates of suppressed or synthetic data to protect privacy of individuals in places with very small numbers of health events, which makes it more difficult to characterize rural areas with smaller populations. This project presented the data in a way that helps policymakers and practitioners (particularly legislators and State Offices of Rural Health) to more easily understand variation in population health across differing levels of rurality for the nation and by region and state.


  • Rural Population Health in the United States: A Chartbook
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 02/2023
    This chartbook uses a range of indicators to describe population health in rural America and document health disparities between rural and urban areas. This report includes 33 measures of population health, organized into five domains: Access to Care, Health Outcomes and Risks, Mortality, Social Determinants of Health, and Socioeconomics.