Rural Healthy People 2030: Common Challenges, Rural Nuances


This study reports the findings of Rural Healthy People 2030, a companion piece to the Healthy People 2030 initiative with a focus on health priorities of rural populations. Data was collected from a survey given to rural stakeholders and identified the top 20 Healthy People priorities for rural America.

Key Findings

  • While access to health care was the most commonly selected health priority for rural America in Rural Healthy People 2010 and Rural Healthy People 2020, "Health Care Access and Quality" dropped to the third most important priority in Rural Healthy People 2030.
  • Both mental health and addiction have risen in relative importance for rural America over the past decade, with "Mental Health and Mental Disorders" and "Addiction" identified as the first and second most important priorities, respectively, for rural America over the next decade.
  • "Economic Stability," a new social determinant of health priority, debuted in the top 10.
  • The remaining top twenty most important Healthy People 2030 priorities varied with respect to respondents' area of residence, gender, age, race/ethnicity, and employment. Often, variation between groups increased as relative importance of priorities decreased.
Southwest Rural Health Research Center
Morgan Kassabian, Aakriti Shrestha, Timothy Callaghan, Janet Helduser, Scott Horel, Natasha Johnson, Savannah Kaspar, Jane Bolin, Alva Ferdinand