School of Medicine publishes Seventh Edition of the Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book

Contains current information on the health care delivery system in rural and frontier regions of Nevada

Rural Nevada

U.S. Highway 50 in eastern Churchill County. Photo by Anne McMillin, APR.

RENO, Nev. - A newly released University of Nevada School of Medicine report documents the diverse features of health and health care in rural and frontier counties of Nevada.

The Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book - Seventh Edition contains a wide range of current information on the demography, population health, and the health care delivery system in rural and frontier regions of Nevada. It includes important data for public policy makers, health care professionals and administrators, rural health care advocates, and, importantly, the residents of rural and frontier Nevada.

"The primary purpose of the data book is to provide the health care community with the most comprehensive and accurate county-level data on population health trends and the health care system in Nevada," said co-author Tabor Griswold, Ph.D., a policy analyst in the School of Medicine's Office of Statewide Initiatives. "The data book should also be valuable to anyone interested in learning more about health and health care in Nevada."

A few of the many interesting findings presented in the report include:

  • The number of Nevadans aged 65 and over is expected to increase in 12 of 14 rural and frontier counties over the next five years - overall, the number of residents aged 65 and over in rural and frontier Nevada is projected to increase by 7,272 or 13.7% through 2019.
  • An estimated 657,108 residents of Nevada were born in Nevada (24.7% of the population), 1.5 million residents were born in the U.S. outside of Nevada (55.8%), and 518,944 were born in another country (19.5%).
  • Between 2006 and 2012, the number of public high school graduates in Nevada increased by 5,305 - however, the percent of graduates enrolled in NSHE institutions declined from 46.7% in 2006 to 41.4% in 2012.
  • In 2012, there were 16,743 reported violent crimes in Nevada, including 1,039 violent crimes reported in rural and frontier counties; the rate of reported violent crimes per 100,000 population in Nevada was 608.8 - county-level rates ranged from 39.2 in Lincoln County to 1,169.9 in Storey County.
  • Currently, 573,874 Nevadans or 20.3% of the population are enrolled in Nevada Medicaid, including 47,638 rural and frontier residents (16.7%).
  • Between 2000 and 2012, the Medicare-eligible population in Nevada has grown by 195,625 or 81.6% - the rate of growth of this population was greater in rural and frontier areas (95.1%) than urban areas of the state (80.4%).
  • In 2013, the ten leading causes of death in rural and frontier Nevada were: (1) heart disease; (2) cancer; (3) chronic lower respiratory disease; (4) lung, trachea, and bronchus cancer; (5) cerebrovascular disease (stroke); (6) prostate cancer; (7) non-transport (pedestrian) accidents; (8) diabetes mellitus; (9) Alzheimer's disease; and (10) breast cancer.
  • In 2014, there were an estimated 105,692 Nevadans employed in the health care and social services sector, including 44,259 employed in ambulatory health care services (41.9%), 32,148 employed in hospitals (30.4%), and 12,198 employed in nursing and residential care facilities (11.5%).
  • Currently, an estimated 911,684 Nevadans or 33.7% of the state's population reside in a federally-designated primary medical care health professional shortage area (HPSA) - 9 of 14 rural and frontier counties in Nevada are single-county primary medical care HPSAs.
  • In 2013, Nevada's 15 rural and frontier hospitals had a combined 2,250 employees (FTE) and payroll of $141.2 million - these hospitals had an average annual salary of $62,772.
  • Currently, there are 1.8 licensed skilled nursing beds per 1,000 population in Nevada - there are 2.0 licensed skilled nursing beds per 1,000 population in rural and frontier counties, as compared to a rate of 1.8 in urban counties.

The 2015 edition of Nevada Rural and Frontier Health Data Book is divided into five major sections containing the most current data on:

  • Demographic characteristics of rural and frontier Nevada, including recent population estimates and projections
  • The social and economic characteristics of rural and frontier Nevada, including data on income, poverty, and educational attainment
  • Population health status indicators and health insurance coverage
  • The health care workforce in rural and frontier Nevada, including numerous per capita data for many licensed health care occupations by county
  • Health care resources and the economics of health care in rural and frontier Nevada

This expanded edition of the data book includes updated information on veterans populations, insurance coverage trends, and population health in rural versus urban areas of the state.

The report was prepared by researchers in the Office of Statewide Initiatives at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. For more information or to request a hard copy of the data book, please contact Griswold at (775) 682-8475 or

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision that has served Nevada for 50 years. The state's first public medical school, UNR Med fosters a healthy Nevada through excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, within a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is improving the future of health care. For more information, visit our 50th anniversary website.

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