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The County Health Rankings: rationale and methods

Overview of attention for article published in Population Health Metrics, April 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#21 of 385)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (95th percentile)

Mentioned by

3 news outlets
1 policy source
13 tweeters
3 Facebook pages


184 Dimensions

Readers on

182 Mendeley
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The County Health Rankings: rationale and methods
Published in
Population Health Metrics, April 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12963-015-0044-2
Pubmed ID

Patrick L Remington, Bridget B Catlin, Keith P Gennuso


Annually since 2010, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have produced the County Health Rankings-a "population health checkup" for the nation's over 3,000 counties. The purpose of this paper is to review the background and rationale for the Rankings, explain in detail the methods we use to create the health rankings in each state, and discuss the strengths and limitations associated with ranking the health of communities. We base the Rankings on a conceptual model of population health that includes both health outcomes (mortality and morbidity) and health factors (health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment). Data for over 30 measures available at the county level are assembled from a number of national sources. Z-scores are calculated for each measure, multiplied by their assigned weights, and summed to create composite measure scores. Composite scores are then ordered and counties are ranked from best to worst health within each state. Health outcomes and related health factors vary significantly within states, with over two-fold differences between the least healthy counties versus the healthiest counties for measures such as premature mortality, teen birth rates, and percent of children living in poverty. Ranking within each state depicts disparities that are not apparent when counties are ranked across the entire nation. The County Health Rankings can be used to clearly demonstrate differences in health by place, raise awareness of the many factors that influence health, and stimulate community health improvement efforts. The Rankings draws upon the human instinct to compete by facilitating comparisons between neighboring or peer counties within states. Since no population health model, or rankings based off such models, will ever perfectly describe the health of its population, we encourage users to look to local sources of data to understand more about the health of their community.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 13 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 182 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Unknown 181 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 40 22%
Student > Master 28 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 20 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 20 11%
Professor > Associate Professor 12 7%
Other 32 18%
Unknown 30 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 50 27%
Social Sciences 30 16%
Nursing and Health Professions 29 16%
Computer Science 3 2%
Business, Management and Accounting 3 2%
Other 26 14%
Unknown 41 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 38. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 01 April 2021.
All research outputs
of 20,629,552 outputs
Outputs from Population Health Metrics
of 385 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 243,116 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Population Health Metrics
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,629,552 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 385 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 243,116 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them