Health Status > Special Populations
Rural and Urban Women
In 2003, almost 54 million people, or 19 percent
of the population, lived in an area considered to be non-metropolitan.
The number of areas defined as metropolitan changes every year as
the population moves and grows. Residents of rural areas tend to
be older, poorer, and live farther from health care resources than
their metropolitan counterparts.
Women from non-metropolitan areas also tend to
complete fewer years of education than women from metropolitan areas.
In 2003, 22.6 percent of women aged 25 or older in rural areas had
less than a 12th grade education, compared to 16.7 percent of women
from metropolitan areas. Women from metropolitan areas were more
likely to have 3 to 4 years of college education (21.0 versus 15.4
percent), and 5 or more years of college (11.4 versus 5.9 percent).
In addition to having access to fewer healthcare
resources, women in rural areas are also less likely to have private
health insurance coverage than their metropolitan counterparts.
In 2003, 70.1 percent of women (aged 18 to 64) in non-metropolitan
areas had any private insurance coverage for a full year compared
to 76.1 percent of women in metropolitan areas. Women in non-metropolitan
areas were more likely to have public insurance or be uninsured.