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Community Characteristics

Tracking Community Characteristics

The Tracking Network uses several national data sources to obtain state and local data about community characteristics. Sources include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Hospital Association, and the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Data are presented at census tract, county, and/or state level for all states. The data can be viewed in single or five-year timeframes.

Community characteristics data on the Tracking Network currently include types of housing and households; how many homes are located in flood zones; whether an area is urban or rural; and whether land is developed, used for agriculture, or covered by forest. Additional community characteristics indicators and measures will be added as they become available.

Public health professionals can use the Tracking Network’s community characteristics data to

  • identify households or geographies likely to be affected by a public health emergency.
  • determine the amount of available resources within a community.
  • calculate the amount of resources needed for a public health response or for public safety.

Community characteristics data can be used with Tracking Network data on Populations and Vulnerabilities to plan effective public health responses to public health emergencies.

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