Rural Communities


Female doctor in a rural setting

Health Care in Rural Communities

Rural and underserved communities face significant challenges accessing health care services. In many areas, the supply of health care providers cannot keep up with the demand for services. The shortage or inadequate distribution of the health care workforce can create barriers to accessing timely and appropriate care, lead to negative health status and create significant costs for states.


Barn in rural area

State Rural Development Councils

Several state legislatures have begun to look into rural concerns through the creation of initiatives, committees, councils, task forces, and agencies. Some of these efforts have existed for some time; the Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a legislative agency created in 1987. Other efforts are more recent. 



Rural Communities


Pile of papers

Jump-Starting Rural Economies

Although much of America is thriving economically, rural areas have not recovered from the Great Recession, and policymakers are concerned. Rural America’s economy faces a competitive disadvantage compared to urban areas. Economic progress is hindered by, among other factors, a declining and aging population, lack of access to capital and stagnate infrastructure development. 


Father and son fishing

Right to Hunt and Fish

Twenty-one states currently guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions, with twenty of those approved via the voters. NCSL tracks the latest developments in the states.