How to Use Your Data Snapshot
The county snapshots provide tools to help make sense of county-level data. The snapshot data and these accompanying tools should be used to help understand what is happening in the community, what has happened over time, and for picking priorities and setting future goals.
Explore four video tutorials at the bottom of this page for more guidance on ways to find and interpret data.
At the top of each county snapshot there are two graphics dividing the counties in the state into four equal groupings, called quartiles. Quartiles for both Health Outcomes and Health Factors range from the least healthy to healthiest counties within each state. Each quartile contains 25% of the counties in the state, with healthier counties displayed further to the right on the graphic. A county with a rank of #1 lies in the healthiest quartile.
These graphics provide an indication of where the county fares relative to other counties in the state without direct comparison of individual county ranks. County Health Rankings encourages users viewing a snapshot to reference the quartiles for overall comparison of counties within a state
Snapshot table & data
A county snapshot includes a range of data and additional information about each of the measures that make up the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps model of health.
County-level values are reported for the 35 measures used to calculate the health outcome and health factor ranks and for many additional (unranked) measures. State and national values are also included, and may be calculated or represent the midpoint (median) of county values within the state or nation, respectively.
By clicking on any measure row, you will open a drawer containing additional information about that measure:
Basic information to help you understand what each measure means and key facts about the data.
|Measure definition||A brief description of the measure. It typically includes information about the units of measure, such as percentages, or whether the measure is a ratio.|
A statement that puts the county value into context and further defines more complicated measures.
Depending on the measure, it may use less technical terms or provide a benchmark such as a standard or a national average to help interpret the county value.
|Error margin||Where possible, we provide the error margins (95% confidence intervals) for the county measure values. These error margins should be interpreted as "we are 95% confident that the true measure value for this county lies within the provided range."|
|Years of data used||
The year(s) on which the measure were based.
Note that most data collection (via census or survey) has lag times. Our Rankings are based off of the most recent, reliable data we can access but do not represent data from the current year. For example, the Rankings incorporate data from the US Census, which is updated every 10 years.
For some measures, County Health Rankings provides disaggregated data by race/ethnicity within the county snapshot. We include American Indian & Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Hispanic and white population groups within a county. In some instances, data for all racial/ethnic groups may not be available for all measures or counties.
Disaggregation means breaking data down into smaller, meaningful subgroups. Disaggregated data are often broken down by characteristics of people or where they live. Disaggregated data can reveal inequalities that are otherwise hidden, allow us to better understand where people and places are cut off from opportunities to be healthy, and illuminate how communities can target resources where they are most needed.
Learn more how CHR&R defines race/ethnicity in our Rankings and find additional information about available disaggregated data.
Trend graphs are available for 16 measures. These graphs allow you to examine changes in that measure over time for your county, state or the nation.
To view graphs, click on the graph icon in the Trend column of the county snapshot. The color of the line in the icon shows the direction of the measure trend in the county:
Related policies & programs
Select the "Find Strategies" link to access a filtered list of policies and programs related to each measure in our What Works for Health tool.
A team of analysts reviews the evidence behind each strategy and provides a rating of that evidence, as well as considerations for equity/disparities and implementation resources where available.
Place can be a strong predictor of health and maps are a powerful way to view spatial patterns in health factors and outcomes across a state. The interactive maps provided can be used to advocate for the improvement of the health of all people by emphasizing and communicating place-based health disparities.
Explore the interactive map — available for each measure — to learn more about how the different counties in your state are faring.
Using the congressional district mapping feature
On each state page, users have the option to overlay congressional districts on top of the county health outcome and health factor maps. Selecting the option to add congressional districts will show the congressional districts for your state. If you then click on a specific congressional district, the map autozooms to the selected district and becomes transparent to show the counties associated with that congressional district. County-level data for each county within the district boundary can be explored. In addition, the ranks of the counties associated with that congressional district appear in the box.
Users can also use this feature on measure pages. Instead of the county rank appearing in the pop-up box, the measure data for the selected congressional district displays. This information can be used to see how health differs within your congressional district. It can be useful to share with your representative or other residents in your congressional district in order to identify geographic disparities. Many congressional districts have both high- and low-ranking counties. This information can be useful to improve health for all by identifying areas of high need and/or determining where to prioritize funding.
Each short video tutorial below guides you through how to use the different tools to access CHR&R data
Finding data by county
Finding data by health topic
Finding State-Level Data