Characteristics of 190 urban community hospitals that were closed during the period 1980-87 and characteristics of the communities that they served were analyzed and compared to a control group of 380 urban hospitals that remained open. A negative association was found between hospital closure and four hospital characteristics: the presence of a cancer program approved by the American College of Surgeons, the combined characteristics of for-profit status and membership in a multi-institutional chain, the number of admissions, and the number of facilities and services offered. A positive association was found between hospital closure and the percentage of black residents in the community. These findings are discussed in the context of political and economic trends in health care and urban development. Implications for future research are noted, including managerial strategy for hospital administrators and the socioeconomic implications of hospital survival in declining urban communities.