The Supply and Rural-Urban Distribution of the Obstetrical Care Workforce in the U.S. - A State-Level Analysis


Monitoring the rural and urban supply and distribution of clinicians who provide obstetrical (OB) services is important for identifying areas that may lack access to OB care and identifying solutions. This set of state-level data briefs describes the supply and geographic distribution of four types of OB care clinicians—obstetricians, advanced practice midwives, midwives (not advanced practice), and family physicians—using data from the 2019 National Plan and Provider Enumeration System and the American Board of Family Medicine.

This brief provides estimates of each clinician type per 100,000 women of child-bearing age (15 through 49 years), describing supply and distribution for rural versus urban counties and among rural counties, micropolitan versus non-core counties. The findings reveal that significant disparities exist between rural and urban areas in the supply of clinicians who provide OB services.

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Davis Patterson, C. Holly Andrilla, Lisa Garberson