Health Improvement Index (HII)

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The Utah Office of Primary Care and Rural Health has incorporated the data from the Utah Health Improvement Index (HII) into our Data Portal as an interactive mapping application. The map can be viewed at https://ruralhealth.health.utah.gov/portal/health-improvement-index/.

Developed by the UDOH, the Utah Health Improvement Index (HII) is a measure of health equity. It includes nine indicators that describe important determinants of health such as demographics, socioeconomic deprivation, economic inequality, resource availability, and opportunity structure. 

Those indicators are:

  • Population aged ≥25 years with <9 years of education, % 
  • Population aged ≥25 years with at least a high school diploma, %
  •  Median family income, $ 
  • Income disparity
  • Owner-occupied housing units, % (home ownership rate) 
  • Civilian labor force population aged ≥16 years unemployed, % (unemployment rate) 
  • Families below poverty level, % 
  • Population below 150% of the poverty threshold, % 
  • Single-parent households with children aged <18 years, % 


The Utah HII is grounded in the methods used by Singh for the Area Deprivation Index (ADI). While the ADI is based on 17 US Census Data markers, the Utah HII is based on nine Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) indicators. Analysis showed that the computed HII values for the Utah Small Areas were within 1% of the approximate ADI values. 

This demonstrated that the Utah HII is a robust measure that classifies Utah Small Areas almost identically to the ADI, which validated the use of the BRFSS data and the selected nine indicators. The Utah HII is an innovative, data driven, and practical way to advance health equity and inform efforts to reduce, in an efficient and effective way, the burden of diseases and health conditions in specific geographic areas. In areas with a high or very high index, policies and interventions with a health equity approach are recommended. At the same time, the very low, low, and average areas could benefit from more traditional public health approaches.

To view the map, please click here.