Health Indicators Map Gallery
Social & Economic Factors
Economic and social insecurity often are associated with poor health. Poverty, unemployment, and lack of educational achievement affect access to care and a community’s ability to engage in healthy behaviors. Without a network of support and a safe community, families cannot thrive. Ensuring access to social and economic resources provides a foundation for a healthy community.
A community’s health also is affected by the physical environment. A safe, clean environment that provides access to healthy food and recreational opportunities is important to maintaining and improving community health.
Health behaviors such as poor diet, a lack of exercise, and substance abuse contribute to poor health status.
A lack of access to care presents barriers to good health. The supply and accessibility of facilities and physicians, the rate of uninsurance, financial hardship, transportation barriers, cultural competency, and coverage limitations affect access.
Rates of morbidity, mortality, and emergency hospitalizations can be reduced if community residents access services such as health screenings, routine tests, and vaccinations. Prevention indicators can call attention to a lack of access or knowledge regarding one or more health issues and can inform program interventions.
Measuring morbidity and mortality rates allows assessing linkages between social determinants of health and outcomes. By comparing, for example, the prevalence of certain chronic diseases to indicators in other categories (e.g., poor diet and exercise) with outcomes (e.g., high rates of obesity and diabetes), various causal relationship may emerge, allowing a better understanding of how certain community health needs may be addressed.