County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, A Healthier Nation, County by County

The County Health Rankings models and measures

Our Approach

The County Health Rankings model of population health

What can I do?

Action Center

Explore guides and tools for improving health.

What Works for Health

Explore programs and policies that work!

What can I learn from others?

Reports

Key findings from the last four years of County Health Rankings and other national reports.

County-by-County Blog

Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Rankings Background

The County Health Rankings rank the health of nearly every county in the nation and show that much of what affects health occurs outside of the doctor's office. The County Health Rankings confirm the critical role that factors such as education, jobs, income, and environment play in how healthy people are and how long they live. Published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Rankings help counties understand what influences how healthy residents are and how long they will live.

We compile the Rankings using county-level measures from a variety of national data sources. These measures are standardized and combined using scientifically-informed weights. We then rank counties by state, providing two overall ranks:

  1. Health outcomes: how healthy a county is now.
  2. Health factors: how healthy a county will be in the future.

In addition to the ranks, the Rankings provide communities with county-level data for a variety of factors that affect health such as high school graduation rates, access to healthier foods, air pollution levels, income, and rates of smoking, obesity and teen births. Based on the latest data publically available for each county, the Rankings are unique in their ability to measure the overall health of each county in all 50 states on the multiple factors that influence health.;

Our model, described in detail in Our Approach, is provided below.