In absolute numbers, there are about as many city-dwellers who live in doctor-deficient counties as rural residents: 21 million compared to 23 million. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Thirteen percent of Americans –– or 44 million –– live in a county with a shortage of primary care physicians, according to a study done by United Healthcare. Such counties have fewer than one physician for 2,000 residents.

A lack of nearby doctors is a far more common problem in rural areas. Thirty-eight percent of people who live in rural areas live in a county with a physician shortage, compared to only 8 percent of those who live in urban areas.

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