Document Type

Fact Sheet

Publication Date



Rhode Islanders face unique health disparities based on race, ethnicity and location. Just over six percent (6.3%) of the Rhode Island population is living in Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), according to 2008 data. Native American and African American/black communities face particular health disparities, specifically in the areas of reproductive and infant health. In 2008, 79% of the Rhode Island population was non-Hispanic white, while 5% was African-American/black, 11% was Hispanic and 5% had other racial/ethnic backgrounds. In 2005, 12.4% of the total Rhode Island population was foreign born.


Authored by Dorothy Hiersteiner, Research Assistant, Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy, and MPP Candidate, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.



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