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Rural Health: Rural Overview

A resource guide to help anyone interested in learning more about rural areas, with Maine as an example and focus.

Post-Baccalaureate, Pre-Clinical Healthcare Gap Year Program in Maine

NEW IN 2023!! Learn more on our website.





Fueled by an Industry Partnerships grant from the Maine Department of Labor, Northeastern’s Roux Institute and Bouvé College of Health Sciences are partnering with Maine’s premier healthcare systems and community health clinics to host the inaugural Post-Baccalaureate, Pre-Clinical Gap Year program in 2023-24. This innovative non-degree program will allow aspiring healthcare professionals to gain valuable experience in providing direct patient care or essential behind-the-scenes services.


Complete an interest form today to be considered for the first Pre-Clinical Healthcare Gap Year cohort, beginning in Summer 2023. Open positions with partner healthcare systems and community health clinics will be posted in the coming weeks.  

Introduction to Rural

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 "Searching the literature" tab.

Definition of Rural:

The 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:

  • 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 <>

Other organizations have similar categorizations with slight variations.

--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

What does it mean to be rural?

What does it mean to be rural?

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

Rural Health Information Hub

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 Other)

Government sites on rural

Rural Health Research

Rural Health Research

Funding and Investment

Funding and Investment

Government and private sources may invest in initiatives around improving rural health. Below are a few recent (in 2022) efforts.

Searching for funding sources can also be done on government sites or by using a subscription service available through NU Library.

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