Rural Health and Well-Being in America

Understanding our rural communities’ strengths, challenges and opportunities for achieving health and well-being for all.

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A greenhouse, barn and chicken yard are part of the outdoor environmental laboratory behind Crellin Elementary School.

Across America, many rural communities are finding inspiring solutions to improve health and well-being for all.

For the 1 in 5 people that live in rural America, choosing to live there should not present barriers to living a long and healthy life. But too often, it does.

According to the County Health Rankings, rural counties have higher premature death rates and rank lowest nationally in overall health outcomes. The factors driving rural health disparities vary widely, from shifting demographics, to changing economies and disinvestment, to the opioid epidemic and insufficient access to needed care.

Amid these complex issues, with a range of partners, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is supporting the efforts of rural communities across the nation to develop solutions which effectively leverage local resources and strengths, such as strong social connections and civic engagement, which have been linked to good health.

Connected with these efforts, this collection shares key research and emerging insights into the many sides of rural health in America, and resources for rural communities working to achieve better health for all.


Editor's Pick

Strategies to Improve Rural Health

A County Health Rankings' tool is helping communities identify what policy and system changes may be the best fit to address local health needs.

Visit the program website

Rural Social Mobility

Common factors that may drive upward social mobility in rural America and help young people build a brighter future.

Read the report

FeatureD InitIatives

A Telehealth Model for Rural Care

In New Mexico, Project ECHO is working to bridge gaps in health care for rural and underserved communities.

Assessing Health in Appalachia

A research initiative measuring population health and documenting disparities in health outcomes in the Appalachian Region.

In Rural Oregon, A Well of Hope

Residents and leaders across Klamath County, Oregon have united to promote physical, emotional, and cultural well-being.

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