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Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Data Files

Use Data Files to Identify Rural Areas

The files available below were created to assist researchers, government agencies and the public by providing different ways to identify or analyze rural areas. We updated the data files below to match the Metropolitan Areas of 0MB Bulletin No. 20-01 (PDF - 3.7 MB).

Do these files replace the Eligibility Analyzer?

These files do not replace the use of the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer for determination of eligibility for Rural Health Grants.

When should I use these files?

The “Non-Metro Counties (Micropolitan and non-core based counties) and Eligible Census Tracts in Metropolitan Counties” Excel file is the same data that is used for the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer.

Use the ZIP code files when

  • You don’t know local addresses
  • ZIP codes are the only available geographic unit

Non-Metro Counties (Micropolitan and non-core based counties) and Eligible Census Tracts in Metropolitan Counties (XLSX - 162 KB)

  • In some counties, all Census Tracts in the county are eligible. You’ll see this note in the memo field: “This county is eligible even though it is designated as a Metropolitan County. All census tracts in the county qualify as rural.”
  • If there are no entries in the Census Tract cell or Memo field, then the entire county is eligible.
  • Note: This file includes rural areas in Puerto Rico and the US territories.

List of 295 counties (XLSX - 20 KB)

  • Outlying Metro Counties with no Urbanized Areas
  • These counties were not eligible or were only partially designated as rural
  • They will be fully eligible for Fiscal Year 2022 grants.

Eligible ZIP Codes (XLSX - 304 KB)*

  • We used the U.S. Census Bureau’s Relationship Files to produce the ZIP code files. Census reviews how Census Tracts relate to ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs).
  • We used the ZIP Code to ZCTA Crosswalk HRSA Exit Disclaimer to identify individual ZIP codes within the ZCTAs.
  • Note: The file includes 18,677 ZIP codes. They’re in numeric order, and we only identify the state where the ZIP is located.

ZIP Codes by County (XLSX - 882 KB)*

  • Review 25,964 records by state, county, and ZIP code. We include tabs that show:
    • The percentage of the ZIP codes’ population that resides in that county (not census tract)
    • The county’s Federal Information Processing System (FIPS) code
    • How the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) classifies the county (Metro, Micro, or Neither)
  • Some ZIP codes are for businesses or PO boxes or have an unknown number of people. We mark these with a “U” in the population field.
  • ZIP codes can include area and population in more than one county. There may be multiple records for one ZIP code.

*The ZIP Code files have not been updated to include the change described in the Federal Register Notice, Revised Geographic Eligibility for Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Grants.

Contact Us

Steven Hirsch
Email: shirsch@hrsa.gov
Call: 301-443-7322

Date Last Reviewed:  October 2021