Skip to page content
U S Department of Health and Human Services
CHSI Community Health Status Indicators
  Our Mission: Provide Information for Improving Community Health

Community Health Status Indicators Report

What's new

The goal of Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) is to provide an overview of key health indicators for local communities and to encourage dialogue about actions that can be taken to improve a community’s health. The CHSI report was designed not only for public health professionals but also for members of the community who are interested in the health of their community. The CHSI report contains over 200 measures for each of the 3,141 United States counties. Although CHSI presents indicators like deaths due to heart disease and cancer, it is imperative to understand that behavioral factors such as tobacco use, diet, physical activity, alcohol and drug use, sexual behavior and others substantially contribute to these deaths (see chart).

In addition to the web pages, community profiles can be displayed on maps or downloaded in a brochure format. The CHSI mapping capability allows users to visually compare similar counties (termed peer counties) as well as adjacent counties with their own county. This feature will be available when the CHSI 2009 mapping update is ready. The downloaded CHSI report allows broad dissemination of information to audiences that may not have access to the internet.

The CHSI report provides a tool for community advocates to see, react, and act upon creating a healthy community. The report can serve as a starting point for community assessment of needs, quantification of vulnerable populations, and measurement of preventable diseases, disabilities, and deaths. The CHSI report is accompanied by a companion document entitled Data Sources, Definitions, and Notes (PDF - 433KB). This document gives detailed descriptions on data estimations, definitions, caveats, methodology, and sources.

To access a community profile, select a state and county name on the left navigation bar and select display data. The demographic characteristics of the selected county will appear as well as its peer counties (if applicable, counties similar in population size and frontier status). To move to another page, select the health indicator section from the list in the left navigation bar. To print the CHSI brochure, select the print report option at the top right-hand corner of the page; do not use the browser print option. To access the CHSI mapping tool, select the mapping option at the top right-hand corner of the page.

The July 2008 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease contains the following articles that provide additional information about the Community Health Status Indicators project:

Kanarek N, Bialek R, Stanley J. Use of peer groupings to assess county public health status. Prev Chronic Dis 2008;5(3).

Metzler M, Kanarek N, Highsmith K, Bialek R, Straw R, Auston I, et al. Community Health Status Indicators Project: the development of a national approach to community health. Prev Chronic Dis 2008;5(3).

Heitgerd JL, Dent AL, Holt JB, Elmore KA, Melfi K, Stanley JM, et al. Community health status indicators: adding a geospatial component. Prev Chronic Dis 2008;5(3).

Sondik EJ. The goal of adequate data. Prev Chronic Dis 2008;5(3).

What's really killing us? d

Source: McGinnis, J.M & Foege, W.H. (1993). Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA., 270(18), 2207-2212

Link to County Health Rankings