Healthy Communities Institute

What is the SocioNeeds Index ranking and how is it determined?

The SocioNeeds ranking of 1-5 is a comparison of each zip code to all others within the selected comparison area on your site. Within a comparison area, the ranking for the zip code with the lowest index value will be 1 (the index values range from 0 to 100).

If your site region is composed of a single county, the ranking will be to all other zip codes in your county. 

If you have multiple counties within your site region, you can change the selection in the comparison drop-down menu to view the ranking within each county separately or across your entire site region.

Zip codes are ranked using natural breaks classification, which groups the zip codes into clusters based on similar index values. This method minimizes the variance within a rank, and maximizes the variance between ranks.

The index is calculated from 6 indicators, one each from the following topics: Poverty, Income, Unemployment, Occupation, Education, and Language. The indicators are weighted to maximize the correlation of the index with premature death rates and preventable hospitalization rates.

Nielsen Claritas Pop-Facts estimates are used for all indicators included in the index.

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