Regional Characteristics


The Pacific Northwest Region (PNR) has the largest land mass but is the least populated of all of the National Network of Library of Medicine (NN/LM) regions. While each of the five states has great natural beauty, there are fewer urban locations and public libraries than most areas of the United States. Only three medical schools serve the region, and a large percentage of the land is designated as frontier. As of the 2000 Census, the region encompasses 27% of the total area of the United States, yet has less than 5% of total population. Because of these characteristics, the NN/LM PNR staff and affiliates find ample opportunities for creative rural outreach, cooperative partnerships, and innovative health information connectivity.

In addition to this regional page, five state web pages are available for the PNR region (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington). Each state page provides a description and map, along with selected links that describe the organization, populations and health status of the state. The state pages are designed to support NN/LM-related outreach by librarians, researchers, and health care intermediaries. The scope of the content flows from the NN/LM mission and from the PNR goal of improving health information services to rural and underserved populations as well as public libraries and public health organizations. The resources offered here do not necessarily represent a complete picture of each state nor of the region.

Below is a demographics table for quick reference regarding individual and collective state data.

Census (2012 estimate) and land data by state compared to the United States
  Population Population Rank White/Non Hispanic Black/African American American Indian/Alaska Native Asian Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander Hispanic or Latino Origin Square Miles % of US area
UNITED STATES 313,914,040 NA 63.4% 13.1% 1.2% 5.0% 0.2% 16.7% 3,531,905 NA
Alaska 731,449 47 63.7% 3.6% 14.9% 5.6% 1.1% 5.8% 570,641 16.16%
Idaho 1,595,728 39 83.6% 0.8% 1.7% 1.3% 0.2% 11.5% 82,643 2.34%
Montana 1,005,141 44 87.5% 0.5% 6.4% 0.7% 0.1% 3.1% 145,546 4.12%
Oregon 3,899,353 27 78.1% 2.0% 1.8% 3.9% 0.4% 12.0% 95,988 2.72%
Washington 6,897,012 13 72.1% 3.8% 1.8% 7.5% 0.7% 11.6% 66,456 1.88%
REGIONAL TOTALS 14,128,683 NA 10,697,600 384,197 394,777 738,092 76,119 1,525,068 4,493,179 27.22%
% OF US POPULATION RESIDING IN PNR 4.5% NA 5.38% 0.93% 10.48% 4.70% 12.12% 2.91% NA NA

Sources of Information for the Table

U.S. Census Bureau - State and County Quickfacts - Estimates for 2012

U.S. Census Bureau - American Factfinder

Demographics and Maps

American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Data and Links
Census and American Community Survey data, economic data, population estimates, maps, and links to the Federal Register List of Federally Recognized Tribes and other programs.

National Association of Counties
National and state-specific county data, maps to view the counties within each state, and more.

National Clearinghouse for Frontier Communities - Frontier Education Center
Defines the "frontier" county designation, lists frontier counties by state, and links to maps of farming, federal, government, Indian, and mining lands.

States Ranked by American Indian and Alaska Native Population, July 1, 1999

US Census Bureau State & County QuickFacts
Quick, easy access to facts about people, business, and geography in the 50 states and the US. Searchable by state or thematic map.

United States Maps
From the Perry-Castaneda Map Collection, a resource of demographic, historical, and natural resource state maps.

Health Data and Organizations

Bureau of Health Professions - Health Professional Shortage Areas
Defines the health professional shortage area (HPSA) designation criteria and offers database searching by state and county.

CDC National Center for Health Statistics Fastats A-Z
Search by topic or state for vital statistics and related information.

Indian Health Service - Alaska Area Office
Federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives serving the state of Alaska.

Indian Health Service - Billings Area Office
Federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives serving the states of Montana and Wyoming.

Indian Health Service - Portland Area Office
Federal health program for American Indians and Alaska Natives serving the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts Online
The latest state-level data on demographics, health, and health policy, including health coverage, access, financing, and state legislation.

March of Dimes PeriStats
An online source for perinatal statistics.

Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
Education and training resources, an online public health journal, and other resources and portals designed to support the day-to-day activities of the front-line public health workforce.

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
A non-profit organization representing the health care interests of 42 federally recognized tribes in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

WWAMI Program - Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Network
Description of and links to the AHECs in the University of Washington WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) region.

Library and Information Resources

Pacific Northwest Library Association

Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association

Search for NN/LM Network Members

For more information, please see the NN/LM PNR Mission Statement.

We welcome comments and suggestions in order to continue to improve this resource, please contact us.