New Healthy Communities Dashboard Provides Metrics in Support of the Strategic Plan

Published on
11/27/2023
Healthy Communities

 

In support of the county's Strategic Plan, we have a launched a new Healthy Communities dashboard that focuses on metrics that will be monitored throughout the implementation of the plan and that will inform future decision-making. 

The dashboard provides analysis of the data in a “story behind the numbers” with contextual details to help users understand the figures and their trends, as well as any implications and importance of the health topics covered. It also highlights any health outcome disparities across the various segments of the county’s population.

The Healthy Communities dashboard presents information under three topic areas referred to as indicators:

  1. Access to Health-Promoting Services and Infrastructure
  2. Improving Physical and Behavioral Health Conditions
  3. Promoting Health-Related Behaviors

 

Dashboard Goals

These three indicators contain 15 headline metrics related to physical and behavioral conditions such as obesity, substance use, physical inactivity, access to services through health insurance coverage or availability of medical providers, as well as topics such as food insecurity and life expectancy. Each of the 10 community outcome areas in the Strategic Plan will have its own dashboard that highlights headline metrics.

The dashboard is designed to:

  • Inform residents and stakeholders of the status of health within Fairfax County.
  • Monitor progress in the County’s health over time.
  • Identify demographic and geographic disparities among residents.
  • Guide community leaders, practitioners, and advocates in making data-driven decisions about public health strategies and resources. 

Learn more about the dashboard, including how to use it, by watching the video below. 

 

Dashboard Data Highlights

  1. The Number of Uninsured Residents has Decreased Since 2017 but Remained High for Hispanics and Latinos
    There were around 12,400 fewer residents without health insurance in Fairfax County. This is a decrease from 92,904 (8.2%) in 2017 to 80,502 (7.2%) in 2022. The largest decrease in the number of uninsured occurred among White and Asian residents. In contrast, the number of Hispanic residents who were uninsured did not change much since 2017, at around 41,400 (that is, 22.3% of Hispanic residents in 2017 and 21.9% in 2022).
     
  2. Food Insecurity among Residents has Increased Overall, but Dropped Among Children
    Fairfax County’s food insecurity rates rose slightly from 2018 to 2021 by 0.4 percentage point. However, the proportion of food-insecure children decreased from 5.6% to 2.2% in the same period. Rates of food insecurity differed by race and ethnicity. In 2021, 13.0% of Black or African American residents and 11.0% of Hispanic or Latino residents were food insecure compared to 2.0% of White residents.
     
  3. Obesity Rates Fluctuated Over Time, but Were Lower Than the Virginia and National Averages
    In Fairfax County, 24.4% of adults aged 18 and over were obese in 2021. This rate is lower than the national (33.9%) and Virginia (33.8%) rates in the same year. However, in seven county census tracts, one third or more of its residents were obese. In addition, close to one-third (31.3%) of kindergarteners in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) were obese per 2021 FCPS Body Mass Index Surveillance data, showing a slowly rising trend since 2016.
     
  4. Self-Reported Rates of Physical Health Continue to Fluctuate While Mental Health Continues to Worsen Among Adult Residents
    The percentage of Fairfax County adults who self-reported that their physical health was not good for 14 days or more in the past year has fluctuated from 2018 to 2021 (8.2% to 7.3%) after increasing in 2019 and dropping in 2020. In some areas of the county, the rates were almost twice as much as the average in 2021. Furthermore, 85.0% of Fairfax County residents aged 50 and overrated their overall physical health as excellent or good in 2022. Rates were lowest among Hispanic residents at 80.0%. In addition, Fairfax County adults who reported their mental health was not good for 14 days or more in the past year have steadily increased from 9.9% in 2018 to 11.9% in 2021.
     
  5.  Life Expectancy Trend is Stable, but Disparities by Race Exist
    In 2020, the life expectancy in Fairfax County was 85.2 years, which was higher than the U.S. national life expectancy of 76.4 years. However, disparities exist among demographic groups, with Asians having the highest life expectancy (89.4 years), followed by Hispanic or Latino residents (88.8 years), White residents (84.5 years) and Black or African American residents (83.1 years).

 

Future Updates

The Healthy Communities dashboard will be updated annually to monitor community progress toward equitable healthcare access and outcomes.

To learn more about all 10 Community Outcome Areas, including Economic Opportunities, visit the Strategic Plan webpage.

For instructions on how to navigate and use the dashboards, watch the Strategic Plan Dashboard Tutorial video.

For questions about the dashboard, contact Countywide Data Analytics at DMBDataAnalytics@fairfaxcounty.gov.
 

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