Introduction to Rural Health Research Guide

This research guide contains information and links related to rural health. It was initiated at the start of the Rural Health Scholars program-Roux Institute in Maine. Each tab will provide articles, resources and information on that topic. This is not comprehensive coverage of every article available or every data source. New information is constantly produced and research focus will determine what publications are relevant. Suggestions for selecting resources and tips for searching are in the Literature page of this guide..

*This guide is continually evolving with new content being added as new information is discovered. If you have recommendations for this guide, please reach out to me.

Definition of Rural

The United States Census does not define rural. They consider rural to include all people, housing, and territory that are not within an urban area. Any area that is not urban is rural. The Census defines urban as:

Other organizations have similar categorizations with slight variations.

  • Urbanized Areas (UAs) of 50,000 or more people
  • Urban Clusters (UCs) of 2,500 - 49,999 people
  • After the 2010 Census, they classified 19.3% of the population (59.5 million people) and 97% of the land area as rural. From What is Rural:

What does it mean to be rural?

Other New England States, besides Maine, that have rural areas.

Maine is the most rural state in the country and is just north of Boston, MA. There is a dedicated page for Maine.

Links below are for other New England states.

Rural Health Information Hub

The Rural Health Information Hub is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues.

Rural Gov't Sites (Health and General)