Practice Economics

U.S. physician population grew fastest in South Atlantic region



The U.S. South Atlantic states’ growth rate of 10.4% gave that region the fastest-growing population of physicians in the United States between 2010 and 2012, according to data from the Federation of State Medical Boards.

The South Atlantic also had the largest physician population of any census division in 2012 – 163,319 (18.6%) of the 878,194 doctors with an active license, said Aaron Young, Ph.D., of the FSMB in Euless, Tex., and his associates (J. Med. Regul. 2013;99:11-24).

Of the nine geographic divisions defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, five saw their physician population increase, while four experienced decreases from 2010 to 2012. After the South Atlantic, the West South Central region had the second-largest increase, at 9.3%, with the Pacific next at 9.0%. The East North Central (1.9%) and Mountain (0.1%) regions had much smaller increases, the authors reported.

Of the four regions with declines, the West North Central division had the largest decrease, at 5.9%, with New England second, at 5.7%. The Middle Atlantic was down by 2.3%, and the East South Central had a 1.5% decline, Dr. Young and his associates said.

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