Developing Data for Health Reporting Areas (HRAs)
Our new HRA boundaries match exact city boundaries, which often are not consistent with ZIP codes, census tracts or block groups. Developing data from sources that only include these other geographic units provided a challenge.
We created HRA/city boundaries consisting of aggregations of census blocks. To develop data, we employed lat/long geocodes (vital statistics), geocodes gathered from a “nearest intersection” question as well as probabilistic imputation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey) and a combination of places, tracts and partial tracts (American Community Survey) to create a suite of health, demographic and social determinant of health datasets consistent with the new HRAs. (Datasets where ZIP codes are the only available geocode are the final frontier.) We are transitioning to the new HRAs as our small area default for city profiles (above) and our Community Health Indicators web-based report.