Criteria for inclusion

The purpose of this guide is to provide health policy stakeholders with a list of the most comprehensive national rankings and scorecards with state-level health data and guidance about the advantages and limitations of each. To be included on this list, websites had to meet the following criteria:

  • Include a comprehensive range of indicators that are relevant to health policy.  All of the websites listed here include health outcomes (such as life expectancy, premature death, infant mortality, or physical and mental health status). In addition, they include data on the factors that influence health outcomes, such as health care system characteristics and performance (access, quality, cost); health-related behaviors; and social, economic, and physical environments.
  • Provide state-level data for all states.  Some websites also display data for cities, counties, congressional districts, and health care market regions.
  • Compile data from credible sources and rely upon appropriate statistical methods to allow for accurate comparisons between states and across time periods.
  • Produced by credible national organizations that focus on educating policymakers and the public.
  • Designed to be user-friendly, interactive, visually appealing, and require no specialized data analysis skills.