The Feasibility of Using Electronic Health Data for Research on Small Populations. Population #4: Residents of Rural Communities


Depending on the definition used—particularly degree of proximity to urban areas—the proportion of the U.S. population described as rural ranges from 17 to 49 percent.150, 151, 152     Rural communities are far from uniform, but they are generally less densely populated and more geographically isolated than urban areas. These characteristics result in limited access to services and economic opportunities.153 Compared to the rest of the population, people in rural areas are more likely to live in poverty as a result of low wage jobs and less likely to be highly educated.154 Many rural areas face declining numbers due to the out-migration of younger residents.

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