2014 Update of the Rural-Urban Chartbook

In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published Health, United States, 2001 With Urban and Rural Health Chartbook.  The CDC Chartbook was widely used in directing rural health policy and programming and had not been updated since 2001.

The Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center, a partnership of the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis (NORC) updated the 2001 report to examine the current trends and disparities in urban and rural health.  The analyses were based on the most recent data available (2006-2011) from the National Vital Statistics System, Area Resource File (Health Resources and Services Administration), U.S. Census Bureau, National Health Interview Survey (National Center for Health Statistics), National Hospital Discharge Survey (National Center for Health Statistics), National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and the Treatment Episode Data Set (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).  Output included aggregate data stratified by geographic region and urbanization level. 

Findings suggest that rural residents fare worse than their urban counterparts on a number of measures, including rates for smoking, death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and suicide. Overall, residents of rural areas have less access to physicians and dentists.  While the nation's health has generally improved over the past decade, urban/rural disparities in health status and access to care persist across a variety of measures, and have grown for some measures (e.g., COPD).‚Äč

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