Rankings Calculation

The state health rankings are a composite index of state-level population health measures. Each measure is ranked by the states’ values, with one being the healthiest value and 50 the least healthy value. Ties in value are assigned equal ranks. The states’ values for each measure are then normalized into a score using the following formula:
The state rankings are the ordering of the states according to their total scores. A state’s total score is calculated by adding the products of the score for each ranked measure multiplied by its assigned weight and impact (positive or negative) on health. If a state value is not available for a measure in an edition, the value from a prior edition is used. If no value is available for the prior year, the state’s score for the measure is set to zero in the Annual Report and Senior Report. For the Health of Women and Children Report, if a value is missing for a state from the prior edition, no score is assigned to the measure and weights for the remaining measures in the model category are increased by the weight of the missing measure. For more details, see the BRFSS section in Data Sources and Measures.

The state rankings are the ordering of each state according to its total score. A state’s total score is calculated by adding the products of the score for each ranked measure multiplied by its assigned weight and impact (positive or negative) on health. If a state value is not available for a measure in an edition, the value from a prior edition is used. If no value is available for the prior year, the state’s score for the measure is set to zero in the Annual Report and Senior Report. For the Health of Women and Children Report, if a value is missing for a state from the prior edition, no score is assigned to the measure and weights for the remaining measures in the model category are increased by the weight of the missing measure. For model category and measure weights, see Measures, Weights and Direction.
It’s important to note that the rankings are a relative measure of health. Not all changes in rank translate into actual declines or improvements in health.

Data Considerations

Data presented in America’s Health Rankings® reports are aggregated at the state level and cannot be used to make inferences at the individual level. The edition year is not the same as data year(s). The most recent data available are used. For some measures, multiple years of data are combined to have sufficient sample size. Values and rankings from prior years are updated on our website to reflect known errors or updates from the reporting source. Error bars on graphs represent the 95% confidence interval.


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