Challenges for Rural Areas
• Two-thirds of Iowa counties lost population between 2010 and 2017
• Iowa has added nearly 100,000 people since 2010, but that growth has been limited to the states metro areas
• In the last decade, 126 public school buildings have closed, many in rural areas
• Iowans access to broadband ranks 33rd worst in the country
• In Iowa, 23.4% of households are housing cost-burdened, which means they spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
• Renters have the highest rate of housing cost-burdened with 20% being cost-burdened and another 20% being severely cost-burdened, which means they spend more than 50% of their in-come on housing.
Lack of Access to Health Care
• Over the last decade, over 100 health care centers, clinics, and pharmacies have closed their doors, many in rural areas.
• 82 of Iowa’s 118 hospitals are designated as critical access centers with fewer than 25 beds, nearly all in rural areas. 20% of these hospitals are in danger of closing.
• Only 39% of Iowa citizens even have adequate access to mental health services
• Population decline has made it difficult for rural communities to recruit enough EMT’s to even provide basic emergency ambulance service