During the last century the United States moved rapidly from a rural to an urban-based society. More than 80 percent of the U.S. population now lives in urban areas, which has created many challenges for rural populations, including decreased access to quality health care. Rural areas are more dispersed with fewer resources, naturally leading to fewer health care options, especially when individuals are in need of specialists. Health care providers also generally receive less compensation in rural areas, creating nursing, dentist, and physician shortages. These issues and others have led to health disparities between rural and urban populations that have widened more recently.