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Survey Administration

The NWS is administered online through Qualtrics Panels. Respondents are targeted using quotas to achieve a nationally representative sample based on age, sex, race/ethnicity and educational attainment. We oversample respondents from rural areas to enable robust rural-urban and within-rural analyses.

Accessing the Data

The research team is currently working to make the data and technical documents available to the research community. A restricted version of the data that will be made available through a data use agreement will include respondent state and county FIPS codes. Check back for updates.


NWS data collection is supported by the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (U01DA055972). The following individuals assisted with development of the Wave 1 or Wave 2 survey instruments: Mariah Brennan, Austin Brown, Mary Helander, Jennifer Karas Montez, Katie Mott, Claire Pendergrast, Alexandra Punch, Danielle Rhubart, Mary Kate Schutt, Stephanie Spera, Yue Sun, Emily Wiemers, Sean Withington, Douglas A. Wolf and Xiaoyan Zhang.

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.

Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health