U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Rural and Urban Women

In 2006, more than 48 million people, or 16.4 percent of the population, lived in areas considered to be non-metropolitan. The number of areas defined as metropolitan changes frequently as the population grows and people move. Residents of non-metropolitan areas tend to be older, complete fewer years of education, have public insurance or no health insurance, and live farther from health care resources than their metropolitan counterparts.

In 2006, 22.4 percent of women in non-metropolitan areas were aged 65 years and older, while only 17.3 percent of women in metropolitan areas were in the same age group. One-quarter of women in non-metropolitan areas were aged 18–34 years, compared to 30.0 percent in metropolitan areas. Women aged 35–44 years and 45–64 years accounted for approximately the same percentage of the female population in non-metropolitan and metropolitan areas.

Nearly 66 percent of women reported receiving dental care once a year or more frequently in 2006. Annual dental care was more common among women of all ages in metropolitan areas than in non-metropolitan areas (67.3 versus 57.7 percent, respectively). Among women in non-metropolitan areas, those aged 35–44 years were most likely to receive dental care at least once a year (64.2 percent), followed by women aged 18–34 and 45–64 years (59.1 and 59.7 percent, respectively). Fewer than half of non-metropolitan women aged 65 years and older reported receiving dental care at least once a year.

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