U. S. Department of Health & Human Services
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Shortage Areas

Online processing of shortage designation applications has been suspended and will resume in December 2014. Please direct any questions to your State Primary Care Office and/or the appropriate Shortage Designation Officer.

HRSA develops shortage designation criteria to determine whether a geographic area, population group or facility is a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or a Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA/P). HPSAs may be designated as having a shortage of primary medical care, dental or mental health providers. They may be urban or rural areas, population groups, or medical or other public facilities. MUAs may be a whole county or a group of contiguous counties, a group of counties or civil divisions, or a group of urban census tracts in which residents have a shortage of health services. MUPs may include groups of persons who face economic, cultural or linguistic barriers to health care.

The HRSA Data Warehouse (HDW) allows users to interact with data in charts, tables/reports, maps, and tools. Visit the Data Sources page for more information about where shortage area data is available in the HDW.

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Display high-level summary information about HRSA’s activities and can be used as a starting point for obtaining more detailed information.

The chart below shows the number of currently-designated HPSAs by discipline. The criteria for designation varies from one discipline to another, and there is no intrinsic relationship between them; an area may be considered to have a shortage of practitioners in any or all of the disciplines independently.

About the Charts >>

Data Table

Summary table of key HRSA activities at the national level.

CategoryItemValueAs Of
Designated HPSAsTotal Designated HPSAs15,16612/09/2014
 (by Discipline)  
  --> Dental Care4,98812/09/2014
  --> Mental Health4,07612/09/2014
  --> Primary Care6,10212/09/2014
Medically Underserved Areas / PopulationsDesignated Medically Underserved Areas / Populations4,19508/29/2014



Data Portal and Preformatted Reports

Select, sort, export and view available data by spreadsheet or preformatted reports.

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Visually explore HRSA-specific information, health resources, and demographic data.

Map Gallery

Easy access to preformatted, non-interactive maps supplied in PDF format.

Health Professional Shortage Areas

The Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) maps show currently-designated HPSAs, by discipline (Primary Care, Dental Care and Mental Health).


Medically Underserved Areas/Populations

The Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P) maps show designated MUA/Ps as well as MUA/Ps as they relate to HRSA Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) designated rural health areas.

MUA RuralHealthArea

Quick Maps

Simple, interactive maps intended for viewing current data at the national, regional, or state level.

  • As of December 9, 2014, there are a total of 6,102 HRSA designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) for Primary Care.
  • As of December 9, 2014, HRSA has designated 15,166 Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). These are areas where health care is hard to find and are defined for the disciplines of Dental Care, Mental Health, and Primary Care.
  • As of December 9, 2014, there are a total of 4,076 HRSA designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) for Mental Health.
  • As of December 9, 2014, there are a total of 4,988 HRSA designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) for Dental Care.
  • As of January 1, 1990, HRSA designated 0 Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA or MUP) where residents have a shortage of health services or include groups of persons with economic, cultural, or linguistic barriers to health care.