Well-Being Prevention & Cures

Access to medicine: The states with the most and least pharmacies per capita

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Story at a glance:

  • California is one the worst states when it comes to pharmacy access.
  • However, Los Angeles has the most locations at 1,486.
  • North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and West Virginia have the most pharmacies per 10K residents.

The need of a pharmacist is dire amidst the pandemic. However, a new study shows that some of the nation’s most populated counties are lacking pharmacists per 10,000 residents.

North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and West Virginia are the top four states with the most adequate number of pharmacies, juxtaposed with states such as Oklahoma, California, Rhode Island and Hawaii, which have the least number of pharmacies per capita, according to USA RX.


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The state with the most pharmacies is California, with 5,559 establishments; second place goes to Texas with 4,631 locations. California and Texas are the most populated in the country at around 39 million and 29 million, respectively.

The average state has 1,184 pharmacies. The top 10 states with the most pharmacies combined make up 31,823, which is more than the remaining 40 states at 28,556 locations.

Yet somehow, states like California, Florida, Ohio and New York are among the states with the least pharmacies per 10,000 residents.

Thanks in part to large pharmacy chains like CVS (9,968 locations) and Walgreen (9,024 locations), Los Angeles has the most locations at 1,486, in terms of pharmacy density by individual county, which is twice as many sites as Chicago’s Cook County.


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