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Self-Rated Physical Health Among Working-Aged Adults Along the Rural-Urban Continuum — US, 2021

Aug 29, 2022

Self-Rated Physical Health Among Working-Aged Adults Along the Rural-Urban Continuum — United States, 2021

Danielle Rhubart, Shannon Monnat

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, February 2022

Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat


Danielle Rhubart

Danielle Rhubart


Self-rated physical health is strongly associated with morbidity and premature mortality. Decade-old studies report worse self-rated health among rural residents, but no recent reports exist on current rural-urban differences.

During 2021, working-aged adults in small/medium urban counties and rural counties reported worse physical health compared with residents of large urban counties. These differences are largely explained by differences in socioeconomic status (including lower educational attainment, household income, and probability of employment).

Policies addressing intersecting socioeconomic factors, including those that increase access to livable wage jobs, especially for those without a college degree, likely would reduce rural-urban health disparities.