County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Building a Culture of Health, county by county.

Building a Culture of Health, county by county.

A Starting Point for Change

For too long being healthy has been defined as simply not needing to seek medical care. But it is time to look at the bigger picture of health, and how it extends to work, family, and community life. Factors such as education, obesity, smoking, unemployment, air quality, poverty, and teen birth rates all influence health. 

The County Health Rankings measures these factors and more, making it possible for communities to see the health problems they face and create local solutions to solve them. This is important information. But it is only as meaningful as the action it inspires, or the lives it can improve.

The County Health Rankings is a key starting point for change. We hope you will use your county’s ranking to help build a Culture of Health where it matters most to you: in your home town.

What makes a community healthy?

2016 Key Findings Report

March 16, 2016

Now in its seventh year, published online at, the Rankings is unique in its ability to measure the overall health of each county in all 50 states on the many factors that influence health.

Read the report

About County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps compares the health of nearly all of the 3,000+ counties in the United States to others within its own state, and supports coalitions tackling the myriad social, economic, and environmental influences on health.

The annual County Health Rankings measure vital health factors, including high school graduation rates, obesity, smoking, unemployment, access to healthy foods, the quality of air and water, income, and teen births in nearly every county in America. The annual Rankings provide a revealing snapshot of how health is influenced by where we live, learn, work and play. They provide a starting point for change in communities. That is why we also provide the Roadmaps that provide guidance and tools to understand the data, and strategies that communities can use to move from education to action. The Roadmaps are helping communities bring people together from all walks of life to look at the many factors that influence health, focus on strategies that we know work, learn from each other, and make changes that will have a lasting impact on health.

This program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. We believe America can become a nation where getting healthy, staying healthy, and making sure our children grow up healthy are top priorities. We have a vision of an America where we all strive together to build a national Culture of Health that enables all in our diverse society to lead healthy lives, now and for generations to come.

The goals of this program are to:

  • Build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health  

  • Provide a reliable, sustainable source of local data to communities to help them identify opportunities to improve their health

  • Engage and activate local leaders from many sectors in creating sustainable community change, and

  • Connect and empower community leaders working to improve health.

Praising Community Efforts

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize is awarded annually to honor outstanding community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their accomplishments celebrated and shared broadly with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country.

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Images of puzzle pieces

Watch the video

Watch the video

How can you get involved?

In communities large and small, people from all walks of life are taking ownership and action to improve health. Visit to get ideas and guidance on how you can take action in your community.

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