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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Minnesota: Rural Counties with Majority Black or Indigenous Populations Have the Highest Rates of Premature Death in the U.S.

Researchers with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health recently conducted a study calculating the premature death rates in rural counties and compared them to other rural counties based on their racial and ethnic composition.

The study was led by Assistant Professor Carrie Henning-Smith and published in the journal Health Affairs.

The researchers used data from the 2017 County Health Rankings, which includes information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census, and other sources to determine the premature death rate and racial and ethnic majority of rural counties. The premature death rate is defined as years of potential life lost before the age of 75 per 100,000 people.

The study found:

“Rural areas can be very diverse and when we discuss rural-urban disparities in health, we’re missing part of the picture: there are significant racial differences in who has equitable access to good health in rural counties,” said Dr. Henning-Smith. Learn more