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HOW RURAL STATES BENEFIT FROM STRONG NIH FUNDING

2023 Rural Report

When researchers and organizations in a state are awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the impact of that funding reaches far beyond its original recipients.

This report looks at the impact of NIH funding in rural states — where the populations and economies are far smaller and there are far fewer organizations conducting biomedical research than in other states — and how NIH research funding has an exponential impact in these states.

Rural State Gains During a Period of Strong NIH Funding

By increasing the overall amount of money available for NIH research from 2016-2022, congressional efforts had a significant beneficial impact on these smaller, rural states. However, had the NIH budget remained flat, much of this benefit would have been lost, along with an untold negative impact on research, innovation and public health.

Rural State Gains 2016–2022

Rural State Graph Key
Rural State Gains Graphic
Average of the seven states
7-Year Cumulative Impact Each state benefited from an average total of:
Nearly $1B NIH Research Awards
$2.2B+
New Economic Activity (sales)
14,557
Jobs
Nearly $700M
Statewide Household Earnings
$194M
Tax and Fee Revenue
 
Rural State Losses 2016–2022

Rural State Losses Graphic
Average of the seven states
7-Year Cumulative Impact Each state would have lost an average total of:
$220M NIH Research Awards
$500M+
New Economic Activity (sales)
3,364
Jobs
$161M
Statewide Household Earnings
$44M
Tax and Fee Revenue
 
Alabama Arkansas Kentucky Maine Mississippi New Hampshire West Virginia

WHY THESE STATES?

These states are among the top 10 most rural states in the nation.
In 2022, they had:
  • A rural population share of 45.5%, more than two times the 18.5% average share of the rest of the states.
  • An average state population of just under 2.9 million, less than one-half the average population of the rest of the states.
  • An average total economic output (GDP) of $149 billion, just over one-fourth of the average GDP of the rest of the states.
  • An average total NIH award amount of $154 million — less than one-fifth of the average award amount of the states not included in this report.

DATA TABLES

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