County Health Rankings Model

Quality of Life

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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Quality of Life refers to how healthy people feel while alive. It represents the well-being of a community, and underscores the importance of physical, mental, social, and emotional health from birth to adulthood.

Examining quality of life can tell us a lot about how people perceive their health – whether they feel healthy and satisfied. When communities have higher rates of those who do not feel healthy, it can influence other factors of health including mortality rates, unemployment, poverty, and the percentage of adults who did not complete high school.

Getting this sense of the physical and mental health of a community can also bring to light inequities and help monitor trends, as well as identify risk factors and policies to address those risk factors.

In the Quality of Life area of the County Health Rankings we look at:

  • Birth outcomes, showing rates of babies born at low birthweight.
  • Health-related quality of life metrics, looking at how residents rated overall health, physical healthy, and mental health.


Our Rankings show how healthy a community is as well as indicators for future health. This provides a starting point for action on improving health for all. Dig deeper into the measures below to learn more about our approaches to measuring health.

Number of people aged 13 years and older living with a diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection per 100,000 population.