A new study found that rural populations are older, on average, than urban populations. Across the U.S., people 85 and older make up 1.9 percent of the population. In rural counties, they make up 2.4 percent of the population.
Researchers studied rural-urban older adults based on four different domains: demographics, socioeconomic characteristics, health care access and use, and health characteristics.
The study revealed that the proportion of older adults is increasing more quickly in rural communities due to declining birth rates and migration patterns among younger adults.
Given that the likelihood of living alone increases with age (PDF – 1 MB), research in this area is vital to ensure people have appropriate support and resources.
The study was released by the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, which is funded by HRSA.