Data Sources

The Children’s Health and Education Mapping Tool’s data are drawn from multiple sources, most of which are available to the public at no charge. Click on the name of each data source for a brief description.

American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with data on how they are changing. The ACS collects information such as age, race, income, employment, insurance status, and other important data from a national population sample. The survey is a critical component in the Census Bureau’s decennial census program.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlas

The CDC Atlas provides access to data collected by CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), and Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention. The Atlas provides interactive maps, graphs, tables, and figures showing geographic patterns and time trends of HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, TB, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis surveillance data. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Indicators Warehouse

The Health Indicators Warehouse is a collection of community health data, indicators, and interventions. It provides federal and other data on population health, determinants of health, access to services, and the health care system and aims to help facilitate action to improve performance, outcomes, and value. 

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Data Warehouse

The HRSA Data Warehouse is a collection of data from multiple source systems within HRSA and externally, including the American Hospital Association, U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service, and National Center for Health Statistics. HRSA also uses data from these sources to identify Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P) geographic areas. 

National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data (NCES-CCD)

NCES provides a database with listings of all U.S. schools, including information on the type of school, location, grades served, student enrollment, Title I status and percent of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

The RWJF County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, provides county-level data on a variety of health factors and social determinants of health, including housing problems, single-parent households, and violent crime. The roadmaps provide resources for understanding the data and strategies that communities can use to take action. 

School-Based Health Alliance Census of School-Based Health Centers

The SBHC census is a one-of-a-kind survey that has been conducted every three years by School-Based Health Alliance since 1998. The census is used to track national trends in school-based health care, demonstrate the impact and reach of SBHCs nationwide, inform awareness and expansion efforts, and support our technical assistance. The survey gathers SBHC contact details, demographics, staffing, health services and prevention activities, policies, utilization, and financing. Click here for more information and to view previous census reports. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS)

SAMHSA leads public health efforts to support behavioral health. DASIS is the primary source of national information on the services available for substance abuse treatment. 

U.S. Census, Small Area Health Insurance Estimates

The Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) program provides model-based estimates of health insurance coverage for counties and states. The SAHIE program models health insurance coverage by combining survey data from several sources, including the American Community Survey, demographic population estimates, aggregated federal tax returns, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) participation records, and Census 2010. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Environment Atlas

The Food Environment Atlas aims to assemble statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality, and provide a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so. The Atlas assembles statistics on three broad categories of food environment factors: food choices, health and well-being, and community characteristics. The Atlas includes over 200 indicators of the food environment. 


What are some limitations of the data in the tool?

Although the tool brings together an array of important data at the county-level, there are a number of potential limitations. County-level data is the smallest geographic denomination with data available across health, education, and socioeconomic status indicators to allow data to be overlaid in order to view high need areas. It should be acknowledged, however, that the indicators may vary within a county, such as at the neighborhood level.

Data may be from different years or outdated. Some data may be missing. Data are presented to provide a snapshot of information about child and adolescent health and cannot explain causation of indicator values. Testing for statistically significant differences is not available in the tool. While each indicator is important, the use of multiple indicators to identify strengths and needs will provide a more comprehensive picture. Comparisons to the national average are helpful, but do not necessarily represent statistically significant differences.

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