The source of data is represented by the The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of the people they serve. BCHC is a project of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), which represents the nation’s 2,800 local governmental health departments.
Most of the data come directly from cities, while some were secured from the U.S. Census or other similar publicly available data set where city data were available. For the most part, jurisdictions reported their three most recent years of data, which were 2012, 2013, and 2014. Data prior to 2010 were not included, even if it meant a jurisdiction only had two years of data available. The nature of the data varies considerably. When data were not provided or available, the appropriate cell was left blank. Not all health departments were able to provide data for all indicators and, in cases where dominators were too small, certain rates for subpopulations were not displayed.
Most data were reviewed by individual cities as well. Where sample sizes allow, indicators are broken down into subpopulations for race and ethnicity categories. For most jurisdictions, the default options were White (Non-Hispanic), Black (Non-Hispanic), Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Other. In areas where certain populations were too small, the various subpopulations were included in the “other” category with any additional racial/ethnic minorities. In many of the California cities, as well as Seattle, reported numbers only represent Asians; Pacific Islanders are not included. Some jurisdictions also report mixed-race numbers, and where they do, those numbers are reported as “Multi racial”.
Data for children living in poverty, median household income, foreign-born residents, high school graduates, those living below 200% of the poverty line, and the unemployment rate were calculated using the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimate tables with a few exceptions. A research assistant accessed the data files and created estimates based on a micropolitan code of statistical areas defined by the Office of Management and Budget February 2013. Delineation files may be slightly different from jurisdictional lines used for the other data in this publication. County data for Fort Worth (Tarrant County), Las Vegas (Clark County), and San Diego County were secured via the American Community Survey online data tables.
Data for the following demographic indicators were also calculated using the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimate tables. FIPS codes, which were confirmed by the cities, were used to isolate the data for the jurisdictions. Margins of error that were included in ACS 1-year estimates were also collected, where available.
Percent of 3 and 4 year olds currently enrolled in preschool included children in both public and private schools. The numerator was 3 and 4 year olds enrolled in school, the denominator was the population of the 3 and 4 year old age group.
Percent of households whose housing costs exceed 35% of income was calculated to capture the excessive housing cost burden for each city using selected housing characteristics from the ACS 1-year estimates to calculate the following: [SMOCAPI(35.0% or more, with mortgage) + SMOCAPI(35.0% or more, without mortgage) + GRAPI(35.0% or more)]/ Occupied Housing Units. This value was then reported as a percentage. SMOCAPI = Selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income, GRAPI = Gross rent as a percentage of household income.
Percent of population 65 and over was an age category provided by the ACS estimates and represents those 65 years and older, divided by the total population estimate. Percent of Population under 18 was calculated by subtracting the percentage of the population 18 years and over from 100 to capture the population under the age of 18.
Percent who only speak English at home were those who reported speaking only English at home. Percent who speak Spanish at home were those who reported speaking a Spanish or Spanish Creole language other than English at home. The denominator for both values was the population five years and older.
Race/ethnicity included the percent of the total population that reported being part of a certain race/ethnicity categories: White (Non-Hispanic), Black (Non-Hispanic), Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, Multiracial (Two or more races) and Other. Gender was reported as the percentage of the total population that was male and female. Total population was the ACS 1-year estimate of the number of individuals in the jurisdiction.
Life expectancy estimates for cities often have a range of years due to the need to aggregate several years of data. For display purposes, the last year of that range is categorized in the platform. Notes on each page show the full range of data years. A few life expectancy numbers were provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health. A few life expectancy numbers were provided by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health.
Infant mortality rate is the mortality rate per 1,000 live births.
Dataset contains the BCHC requested methodology for every indicator, along with sources of data used by the BCHC member and notes about the methods and data. The 18 demographic indicators contained in this dataset are the following:
• Infant Mortality Rate (Per 1,000 live Birth)
• Life Expectancy at Birth (Years)
• Median Household Income (Dollars)
• Percent Foreign Born
• Percent Living Below 200% Poverty Level
• Percent of 3 and 4 Year Olds Currently Enrolled in Preschool
• Percent of Children Living in Poverty
• Percent of High School Graduates (Over Age 18)
• Percent of Households Whose Housing Costs Exceed 35% of Income
• Percent of Population 65 and Over
• Percent of Population Under 18
• Percent of Population Uninsured
• Percent Unemployed
• Percent Who Only Speak English at Home
• Percent Who Speak Spanish at Home
• Race/Ethnicity (Percent)
• Sex (Percent)
• Total population (People