Rural Health Disparities

Rural Health Disparities: An Overview for State Policymakers

NCSL Legislative Summit: Aug. 13, 2013


Joshua Ewing, policy specialist, NCSL Health Program

Rural Health Disparities Tutorial |Adobe PDF logoPDF file-35 pages


Health disparities are population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, quality of health care and access to health care services as compared to the health status of the general population.

For instance, rural people tend to be older, less financially stable, and in poorer health. These individuals also tend to exhibit risk factors such as smoking and failure to exercise at greater rates.

The tutorial below was released in conjunction with a preconference to NCSL's 2013 Legislative Summit entitled "Building a Lasting Health Care System in Rural America." The tutorial discusses these population-specific differences, as well as the contributing factors in rural America.

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