Dig Deeper

Understanding Health factors and outcomes can differ by age, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, and sexual orientation, among many other characteristics within counties. Differences can also exist from one neighborhood or ZIP code to the next. Understanding the differences for subgroups in health outcomes and health factors by demographics or geography can inform community efforts to target resources where they are most needed, helping to improve the health of the community as a whole. The following are some questions you want to examine for your community to start to understand these differences:

Differences Among Population Groups
Differences by Locale/Neighborhood
  • Does this measure differ across age groups?
  • How does this measure vary among racial or ethnic groups?
  • How does this measure vary across groups with different socioeconomic characteristics?
  • Are there specific ZIP codes, neighborhoods, or school districts where the measure indicates a localized problem or opportunity?

Although these differences are not all captured in County Health Rankings data, health factor and health outcome differences for some measures by race/ethnicity are now available for states and counties. State data is found in the state reports, and county data can be found within the snapshot . County data by race is available for Black, Hispanic and White populations within counties for the following measures:

  • Premature Death
  • Low Birthweight
  • Preventable Hospital Stays
  • Mammography Screening
  • Flu Vaccinations
  • Children in Poverty
  • Severe Housing Problems
  • Driving Alone to Work
  • Infant Mortality
  • Child Mortality
  • Premature Age-adjusted Mortality
  • Life Expectancy
  • Median Household Income

However, more detailed data for subgroups and for many other measures of health may exist at the state, county, and even city or ZIP code level. The Rankings offers an assessment of the availability of subgroup data for specific demographic groups or for geographic areas smaller than counties for ranked and additional measures. 

Learn about what subgroup data is available for all Rankings measures

The Digging Deeper PDF indicates what County Health Rankings measures can be further broken down by age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, or other smaller geography. 

Learn about measure descriptions and digging deeper information for all Rankings measures

In the Digging Deeper section of each measure description, you can find more specific information about how to access subgroup data and what limitations you might encounter as you access subgroup data.

Learn about disaggregating data and the lessons these teams learned

Exploring differences in health within counties can help identify where some people or places do not experience the same opportunities to be healthy. The Rankings provide lessons learned from three teams who disaggregated data by race, ethnicity, and other small area geographies.