What and Why We Rank

By ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the County Health Rankings help communities understand what influences how healthy residents are and how long they will live. These comparisons among counties provide context and demonstrate that where you live, and many other factors including race/ethnicity, can deeply impact your ability to live a healthy life. The Rankings not only provide this snapshot of your county’s health, but also are used to drive conversations and action to address the health challenges and gaps highlighted in these findings.

The Rankings are based on a model of population health that emphasizes the many factors that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play. Building on the work of America's Health Rankings, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute has used this model to rank the health of Wisconsin’s counties every year since 2003, and nearly every county in the nation since 2010. More information about the rationale and history of the County Health Rankings is available.

Data & Methods - Ranking Methods

The County Health Rankings measure the health of nearly all counties in the nation and rank them within states. The Rankings are compiled using county-level measures from a variety of national and state data sources. These measures are standardized and combined using scientifically-informed weights.

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