County Health Rankings Model

Health Outcomes

In the model

Use County Health Rankings’ model of health to explore the measures that influence how long and how well we live.

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Health Outcomes represent how healthy a county is right now. They reflect the physical and mental well-being of residents within a community through measures representing not only the length of life but quality of life as well.

Health Outcomes are influenced by the many factors that influence health, from the quality of medical care received to the availability of good jobs, clean water, and affordable housing. These health factors are influenced by programs and policies in place at the local, state, and federal levels. By looking at data related to Health Outcomes, we can get a glimpse at whether health improvement programs in a county are working. For example, a non-smoking ordinance in restaurants might impact smoking rates and ultimately lead to longer lives.

There are significant differences in health outcomes according to where we live, how much money we make, our race and ethnicity, and other characteristics. It is important to dig into the data to understand where and why health outcomes differ across a county, how a variety of health factors combine to influence these outcomes, and how our policies and programs are supporting—or restricting—opportunities for health for all.

In the Health Outcomes area of the County Health Rankings we look at:

  • Length of Life, measuring premature death and life expectancy.
  • Quality of Life, with measures of low birthweight and those who rated their physical or mental health as poor.