The unique health and aging challenges of rural populations often go unnoticed. In fact, the rural United States is home to disproportionate shares of older and sicker people, there are large and growing rural-urban and withinrural mortality disparities, many rural communities are inpopulation decline, and rural racial/ethnic diversity is increasing. Yet rural communities are not monolithic, and although some rural places are characterized by declining health, others have seen large improvements in population health.We draw on these realities to call for new research in five areas. First, research is needed to better describe health disparities between rural and urban areas and, because rural places are not monolithic, across rural America. Second, research is needed on how trends in rural population health and aging are affecting rural communities. Third, research is needed on the ways in which economic well-being and livelihood strategies interact with rural health and aging. Fourth, we need to better understand the health implications of the physical and social isolation characterizing many rural communities. Finally, we argue for new research on the implications of local natural environments and climate change for rural population health and aging.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health