The U.S. Social Determinants
of Health Atlas

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) are the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. While researchers have long known that socieconomic indicators like poverty and education impact health, it's less clear why it matters in some places more than others.

Our study looked at all the populated census tracts on the United States mainland to look for patterns across fifteen common SDOH indicators. We grouped these as four dimensions of SDOH, and then summarized all tracts as SDOH neighborhood types. The data provided here are the analytic results of a study by University of Chicago and AHA Center for Health Innovation researchers.

View the Study

Study Citation.

Kolak, Marynia, Bhatt, Jay, Park, Yoon Hong, Padron, Norma, and Molefe, Ayrin. "Quantification of Neighborhood-Level Social Determinants of Health in the Continental United States." JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(1):e1919928. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.19928

Dimensions of Social Determinants of Health

Socioeconomic Advantage

Driven by classic measures of socioeconomic advantage, like poverty, minority status, health insurance status, single parent households, and educational level. The strong correlation between minority status and poverty may reflect the role that racial segregation has played in perpetuating environments that are associated with health disparities.

On the Map:

Lower values have more disadvantage; high values have more advantage.

Limited Mobility

Driven by areas with high proportions of seniors and persons with disabilities, and fewer children Reduced mobility issues are factors in both resource accessibility and social isolation needs, and reflect complex interactions between aging, disability, and transit. Ongoing research seeks to identify areas with a high concentration of older populations to improve transportation policy, social service facilities, and planning.

On the Map:

Lower values have less mobility; high values have more mobility.

Urban Core Opportunity

Dominated by population-dense areas with higher per capita income, more renters, higher rent burden, households without a vehicle, and fewer children. Characterized by compact geographies, dense urban centers, and strong economies. May be highly walkable and diverse, but higher cost of living may impact the vulnerable disportionately.

On the Map:

Lower values have less opportunity; high values have more opportunity.

Mixed Immigrant Cohesion
& Accessibility

Mostly immigrant or multilingual groups with traditional family structures and multiple accessibility stressors. Dominated by higher proportions of families with limited English proficiency, older adults and crowded housing, lack of health insurance, lower educational attainment, and fewer single parent households.

On the Map:

Lower values have more multilingual families, traditional family structures, and/or accessibiility stressors.

Explore different dimensions of the social determinants of health at the neighborhood level across the continental United States.


  • Zoom to your area of interest, or type in a location in the bottom left corner.
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  • Click on the map to get more information.
  • Toggle the filters for each index on the right to view customized maps.