The growing rural-urban disparity in mortality has been well-documented, but little is known about the causes of and variation of the disparity across the nation. In this presentation, we take two approaches. First, we look at spatial variation in the disparity using geographically weighted regression to identify areas of the country where the gap is growing faster than in others. Second, we explore the relative weight of socioeconomic, demographic, and health factors behind the gap by using Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition methods from 1980 through 2010. We find that the rural-urban gap is growing faster in the Deep South than in other parts of the country. This has implications for interventions aimed at attenuating the disparity.