US States With the Most Hospital Beds

The availability of hospital beds are an integral part of quality health care services.
The availability of hospital beds are an integral part of quality health care services.

Healthcare in the US is catered for by both the government and the private sector. Of the total healthcare facilities, 21% are owned by the government, 58% are non-profit while 21% are for profit. Healthcare and associated responsibilities are shared between the state governments and the federal government in the country. Citizens have the option of obtaining private or public medical covers. Data provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family on the availability of healthcare beds per 1,000 residents in a particular population place some of the following states as having the most hospital beds.

US States With the Most Hospital Beds

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia tops the country with 5.3 hospital beds per 1,000 residents. The region has some of the most prominent hospitals and medical research centers in the US including the Washington Hospital Center and the George Washington University Medical Center. The state has the highest number of physicians per capita at 7.23. In 2016, only 3.7% of the population was not insured, one of the lowest rates in the country.

South Dakota

South Dakota ranks second with 4.6 hospital beds for 1,000 residents. The state is served by over 60 hospitals including some high-performing ones such as the Sanford USD Medical Center and the Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center. In 2014, 1,974 active physicians served a total population of 853,175. Active general surgeons per 1,000 of the residents were 10.5 in the same year. South Dakota has some of the most dentists per capita as well as some of the highest rates of physicians allowing patients to use Medicare. In 2015, South Dakota ranked 34th for health insurance coverage rates out of the other states. 12% of the state’s population was uninsured compared to the 11.4% rate in 2014. The uninsured rate is unusually high in residents living below poverty line as well as those between the ages of 25 to 34.

North Dakota

North Dakota ranks third with 4.2 hospital beds per 1,000 residents. The state’s residents benefit from an estimated 50 hospitals including the Sanford Medical Center and the Sanford Fargo Medical Center. North Dakota has 1,851 total professional physicians serving an estimated population of 756,927. In 2014, 10.20% of the population between 18 and 64 in the state was uninsured. Active general surgeons per 1,000 of the residents were 11.9 in 2014.


The state of Mississippi has 4.1 hospital beds per 1,000 of the population. Among the hospitals operating in the state are the Memorial Hospital, University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Wesley Medical Center. The number of primary care physicians in the state is 3,024 while specialist physicians total to 3,171. An estimated 18.39% of Mississippi’s population is uninsured.

Significance Of A Larger Number Of Hospital Beds

Hospital beds represent the availability of inpatient services, and the rates are higher in developed countries than in the developing world. Efficiencies in the healthcare sector of a given country can substantially reduce the number of beds needed by its population. Determining the number of hospital beds per capita needed is not an easy task. A balance between oversupply and undersupply is hard to achieve and maintain. Oversupply leads to waste while undersupply translates to low-quality healthcare.

US States With the Most Hospital Beds

RankStateHospital Beds (per 1,000 residents)
1District of Columbia5.3
2South Dakota4.6
3North Dakota4.2
6West Virginia3.7

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