The United Health Foundation is pleased to provide the America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Data 2020 Update. America’s Health Rankings’ purpose is to inform and drive action to build healthier communities by offering credible, trusted data – at the local, state or national level – for improving health and health care.
With a growing focus on addressing public health challenges across the country that impact women and children, the data, charts, health topics and summaries from the Update can serve as a benchmark for states and communities to recognize their strengths and identify their challenges.
This year, Health of Women and Children reflects America’s Health Rankings’ new model and framework, which better aligns with current public health best practices by elevating the social determinants of health. The model more fully recognizes that working, living, learning and playing conditions are vitally important to the health and well-being of a population. The result is a more comprehensive model that can help states, policymakers and advocates include broader influences of health in discussions and actions that improve population health.
"This year’s data update features a new America’s Health Rankings model that reflects the growing understanding of social determinants’ impact on the health of women and children," said Dr. Janice Huckaby, chief medical officer, maternal-child health, Optum Population Health Solutions and OB-GYN. “The data can help create awareness among states on important public health measures, highlight disparities in health and spur action for improving health and well-being.”

Overview of the New Data Model

  • The new model has five categories – including social & economic factors and physical environment. Several new measures were added to populate the social & economic factors category such as poverty and unemployment among women, residential segregation, early education enrollment and home internet access in households with children. Air pollution, risk-screening environmental indicators and housing with lead risk are a few of the new physical environment measures. The same physical environment measures are used for both the women and children populations. The previous model categories of clinical care, behaviors and health outcomes remain in the model and have been enhanced with additional measures.
  • Each model category contains several topics that group related measures. For example, community and family safety, education, economic resources and social support and engagement are all topics within the social & economic factors category. The measures within the education topic for children’s health include fourth grade proficiency, early childhood education, high school graduation and high school graduation racial gap.
  • The model also presents the measures in two population groups this year, women of reproductive age and children. Infants are no longer a separate population group in the Health of Women and Children due to the difficulty of populating measures across the model categories and topics.
The America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Data 2020 Update examines 131 measures of population health to present a comprehensive look at the health of women and children. The Update also includes State Summaries that provide actionable, data-driven insights regarding the strengths and challenges each state faces across the health of women and children. See Measures Selection and Changes for a detailed description of model and measure changes.

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