County by County Blog

Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

New data, tools and resources debut with 2024 Annual Data Release

Publication date
March 18, 2024

In an ongoing effort to innovate tools to improve health and equity and expand the dialogue on ways to help all communities thrive, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) is offering new data and methods as a part of its Annual Data Release.  

Among the new features that support communities striving for better health for everyone, CHR&R is introducing:  

  • A new, sharper approach to help you understand how long and how well people are living in counties across the nation. Over the last decade, CHR&R ranked the health of counties within states, providing a way to understand differences in health. We have replaced that method with a sharper tool that allows comparisons of a county’s health with other counties, whether that’s in the same state or across the nation. We hope this data-driven method supports an even stronger local and national movement toward health and equity.
  • Visual tools that place counties on a continuum of health across the country. Separate visuals illustrate Health Outcomes, or length and quality of life, and Health Factors, or the conditions that contribute to length and quality of life such as safe and affordable housing, household income and high school completion.
  • Refined data groupings by race and ethnicity. We have incorporated additional groups that better align with how individuals and communities self-identify. The groups reflect changes in census and National Center for Health Statistics data for those who identify as more than one race and to offer more specific identities.

These changes and the continued focus on civic health found in the 2024 National Findings Report are tied to our evolution toward a greater understanding of what shapes health and equity, and more ways to support action. This year, CHR&R data, strategies and resources focus on forces that contribute to how long and how well we live. We examine the role of power and the structures that shape community conditions.  

Structural determinants of health show up in society’s written and unwritten rules, which extend to laws, policies, institutional practices and the ways resources are shared and public money is spent. They create and maintain advantages for some and disadvantages for others. As such, supporting healthy communities goes beyond decisions about social and economic conditions like affordable housing, living-wage employment, or quality education; it requires broad input and the power to shift mindsets.

We hope you join us on the journey to better health for everyone by engaging in this ongoing conversation, utilizing our data, tools and strategies, and extending the work in your community.

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