An important area of concern among rural health researchers and policy analysts is the social and ecological correlates of mortality levels. This research is concerned with the empirical relationship between the prevalence of poverty and the mortality experience of different age groups within the population. Poverty is viewed as a characteristic of the social organization of local areas and operationalized by employing several indicators, including a measure of rurality. The empirical results indicate that the magnitude of the association between the prevalence of poverty and mortality varies among different age groups. The impact of rurality, while being consistently positive, is shown to be statistically nonsignificant. The research also shows that the availability of primary care is associated with lower mortality.