Rural-Urban Differences Among Older Adults


Rural populations are older, on average, than urban populations, and the proportion of older adults is increasing more quickly in rural communities due to declining birth rates and migration patterns among younger adults. Additionally, the demographics of rural areas are changing, as immigration and socioeconomic forces influence who lives in rural areas. These trends demand that policymakers, researchers, service providers, and healthcare workers regularly update their understanding of the characteristics of older adults in rural communities in order to improve how they serve these populations and to allocate resources more effectively and efficiently. Toward that end, this chartbook presents the characteristics of older adults in rural counties, as well as rural-urban differences among older adults, across four domains: demographics, socioeconomic characteristics, healthcare access and use, and health characteristics.

University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Cody Tuttle, Jill Tanem, Megan Lahr, Jonathan Schroeder, Mariana Story Tuttle, Carrie Henning-Smith