The importance of place of residence: examining health in rural and nonrural areas

Am J Public Health. 2004 Oct;94(10):1682-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.10.1682.


We examined differences in health measures among rural, suburban, and urban residents and factors that contribute to these differences. Whereas differences between rural and urban residents were observed for some health measures, a consistent rural-to-urban gradient was not always found. Often, the most rural and the most urban areas were found to be disadvantaged compared with suburban areas. If health disparities are to be successfully addressed, the relationship between place of residence and health must be understood.

MeSH terms

  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Public Health*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Suburban Health / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data