County Health Rankings

Frequently Asked Questions about the Rankings

See Also: County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: FAQ

ExpandWhen will the 2014 Rankings be released?

The 2014 Rankings will be available for counties to view under an embargo, prior to opening to the general public.

  • Week of March 17: Data available under embargo
  • March 25: Embargo ends (11:01 p.m. CDT)
  • March 26: Rankings officially released

ExpandWho do I contact with questions about the Rankings?

Visit: Contact Us

ExpandWho creates the Rankings?

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Learn more at: About the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

ExpandWhat goes into ranking Minnesota's counties? Why are social and economic factors weighted so heavily?

As we know from Minnesota's Statewide Health Assessment, the social and economic factors in our lives impact our health a great deal. The Rankings consider social and economic factors to reflect that.

The County Health Rankings are based on a conceptual model of population health that includes both Health Outcomes (length and quality of life) and Health Factors (determinants of health). The Rankings are based on summary composite scores calculated from individual measures within Health Outcomes and Health Factors. UW calculates and ranks eight different summary composites:

1. Overall Health Outcomes
2. Health Outcomes – Mortality
3. Health Outcomes – Morbidity
4. Overall Health Factors
5. Health Factors – Health behaviors
6. Health Factors – Clinical care
7. Health Factors – Social and economic factors
8. Health Factors – Physical environment

The overall Health Outcomes summary score is a weighted composite of Mortality (50%) and Morbidity (50%). The overall Health Factors summary score is a weighted composite of four components: Health behaviors (30%), Clinical care (20%), Social and economic factors (40%), and Physical environment (10%). Note that the component weights add to 100%.

More information: County Health Rankings: Rankings System.

ExpandWhen can I access the Rankings?

Local public health will be able to access the Rankings under an embargo during the week of March 17. The Rankings will be available to the general public on March 25 at 11:01 p.m. CDT.

ExpandWhat is a data embargo?

The County Health Rankings data is embargoed until the Rankings are officially released on March 26. This means that the media should not publish stories prior to that time.

It is recommended that local health departments not share Rankings information with anyone, except possibly media, prior to March 26. This is needed to ensure the embargo holds. If you choose to share information with the media prior to the March 26 release, please be sure to include an embargo statement, such as:

This information is embargoed until 11:01 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, March 25. It should not be discussed publicly or published in the media prior to that time.

UWPHI will provide information to national media prior to the March 26 release; this means you could be contacted by media prior to that day.

If you absolutely feel the need to share the information with someone, please consult with MDH.

ExpandHow can I get to the embargoed Rankings?

If you are a CHS Administrator or PHN Director in Minnesota, you will have received a listserv message with a login and password. If you are one of the above and need the information, please contact MDH.

If you are a CHS Administrator or PHN Director and have the login and password, please do not share it with media or other partners.

ExpandWhat should I say to media if they contact me?

If you are a CHS Administrator or PHN Director, you will have received a listserv message with some key resources to help you talk to your local media (re-request this information).

MDH will also issue a news release on March 26, and will provide embargoed copies of the report to any media who request them. MDH will also notify local public health departments via the listserv when they receive a request from local media. We will encourage media to contact local health departments for more information.

ExpandWhat other resources are available to my county to help with the Rankings?