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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Meet The Rural Veteran - Rural Provider PTSD Toolkit


Rural Provider PTSD Toolkit

Meet the Rural Veteran
Veteran sitting on the ground

Where do they live?

Nearly one quarter of U.S. Veterans, 4.8 million, live in rural areas and almost one in five (18%) have at least one injury or illness incurred during military service for which they are compensated. As you can see in the chart below, the largest proportion of rural Veterans live in the South.1
Map of U.S. detailing where rural Veterans live
West 14%, Midwest 26%, South 46%, North-east 14%

Who are they?

When compared to their urban counterparts2, VA-enrolled rural Veterans are more likely to:

  • Be older (more than half are 65 years old or older)
  • Be married (more than 65%)
  • Have less income (51% earn an annual income of less than $35,000)
  • Be male (though 7% are women)
  • Have other health insurance (81% are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, or a private insurance)
  • Consider VA a primary source of health care (45%)
Small town main street

Why do they live where they live?

Many of the reasons that Veterans choose to live in rural communities are positive, yet varied: proximity to family and friends, feeling part of a community, a sense of belonging to the place where one comes from, open spaces for outdoor enjoyment, a perception of greater privacy, lower cost of living, and less crowding. These factors can contribute to a greater sense of well-being for Veterans who live in rural areas.

PTSD Information Voice Mail: (802) 296-6300
Also see: VA Mental Health