A range of indicators are used in this report to measure population health in Appalachia and document health disparities between the Region and the nation as a whole. This report includes 41 measures of population health, organized into 9 domains. The domains reflect:
Current Health Status
Generational Health and Healthcare
Risk Factors and Determinants of Health
The indicators provide an overview of population health and include both health outcomes—such as specific measures of mortality and morbidity—and factors that drive or influence health outcomes—such as smoking prevalence, physical inactivity, and the supply of healthcare providers.
The data in this report are broken down by national quintiles, which are groups of data points that have been divided into five equal parts consisting of approximately the same number of counties in each. The quintiles are calculated from national datasets and are thus based on the national distributions for each measure. The first quintile represents data points in the 20th percentile and below, the second quintile represents data points between the 20th and 40th percentiles, and so on. If the Appalachian Region’s distribution matched the national distribution, each quintile would contain 84 counties (20 percent of the total counties in Appalachia). Organizing the data into quintiles provides insight into how county-level outcomes are distributed throughout the Region, and can also help answer the question as to whether outcomes in the Appalachian Region are proportional to the outcomes in the nation as a whole.