County by County Blog

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

What’s New for the 2021 Rankings

Publication date
March 31, 2021

The 2021 County Health Rankings are now available! 

For our 2021 refresh, we have new resources available across our website, including:

Refreshed Homepage
We have refreshed our homepage! The new, fresh look adds more information about health equity and how to take action. Be sure to bookmark our page so you don’t miss our curated content designed to help you drive change in your community with data, evidence and action resources. 

New and updated data
So much is different after 2020, but the 2021 County Health Rankings remain a valuable resource to communities across the nation. 

This year, you can explore your county’s snapshot to see new and updated data and features, including:

  • County Quartiles: This year, we have grouped the health outcomes of counties into quartiles within states to encourage a deeper focus on the data underlying the ranks, not the ranks themselves. However, your county’s rank is still available. To learn more, visit our FAQs
  • New Unranked Measure: Broadband access, which is the percentage of households with a broadband internet connection, represents a digital lifeline which can profoundly impact access to education, employment, health care opportunities, and social connectedness. 
  • New Ranked Measure: High school completion, which includes diploma and GED earners, replaces high school graduation as a ranked measure offering better data quality and comparability across states.

While the 2021 Rankings do not measure COVID-19 cases or deaths, our data are helpful in providing the context for the systemic inequities that have influenced the health of our communities long before COVID-19. These gaps in opportunity have to be addressed if we want a fair, inclusive and equitable recovery from the pandemic. We do anticipate that COVID-19’s impact will begin to be reflected in the 2022 County Health Rankings.

What Works for Health curated strategy lists
Strategies in What Works for Health are helpful tools for local leaders to address long standing barriers to housing, jobs, education, and more with an eye toward expanding health for all. We now have [3] new curated lists of evidence-based strategies that can improve health outcomes around specific topics, including:

  • COVID-19
  • Community Safety & Violence Prevention 
  • Climate Change

Facilitation Guides to accompany the Action Learning Guides
Our Action Learning Guides are designed to provide communities with guidance, tools, and examples to develop a deeper understanding on topics like data fluency and the root causes of inequities in communities. This year, we have new Facilitation Guides that serve as an accompaniment to some of our Action Learning Guides. The Facilitation Guides give you the opportunity to sample and adapt Action Learning Guide content to engage with larger groups like community coalitions.

Recent population health research from our team
Our researchers recently published a paper on life expectancy as a public health metric. Check out this latest report and other reports from our team on our reports page. 

Want to learn more about new County Health Rankings & Roadmaps’ features and resources? Watch our CHR&R 101 informational webinar on-demand anytime!

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