Availability of Hospital-Based Emergency Department and Trauma Services in Minoritized Racial/Ethnic Group Areas


This brief is one of a series of findings briefs documenting disparities in geographic access to health services for ZIP code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) containing a high proportion of minoritized racial/ethnic group (MRG) residents. This report looks at the availability of hospital-based emergency department and trauma services at the ZCTA level.

Key Findings:

  • The median distance to the nearest emergency department in rural ZCTAs with a top proportion of minoritized groups was 16.2 miles compared to 3.9 miles for urban ZCTAs of the same classification. Similarly, rural MRG ZCTAs were a median of 25.6 miles from trauma services versus 6.4 miles for urban MRG ZCTAs.
  • Within rural ZCTAs, the ZCTAs at the top of the distribution for minoritized populations were slightly farther from an emergency department (median of 16.2 miles versus 13.4 miles for other ZCTAs). Similarly, MRG ZCTAs were slightly more distant from a trauma center than white/all other ZCTAs, a median of 25.6 miles versus 23.6 miles respectively.
Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Nabil Natafgi, Peiyin Hung, Whitney Zahnd, Melinda Merrell, Gabriel Benavidez, Oyeleye Oyesode, Nicholas Yell, Oluranti Babalola, Elizabeth Crouch, Janice Probst, Jan Eberth