Place Matters, Community Matters

Where you live has an impact on your opportunity to live a long and healthy life, but this has little to do with where the pin drops on the map.  Rather, it is the contours of each neighborhood–it’s DNA– that influences health.  Every community has strengths, even those facing the most challenges.  The Health Opportunity Index is designed to help residents identify which of the factors are supporting health opportunity in their communities and which may be holding them back.  Our main dashboards allow communities to examine the HOI’s broad profiles–the chromosomes–that influence health.  Our Profile dashboards dive deep into the profiles and allow communities to examine indicators–the genes–that may affect the opportunity to live a long and health life in each community.

The Economic Opportunity Profile


The Economic Opportunity Profile examines the impact place has on each member’s ability to participate in the economic life of a community.  Factors influencing economic opportunity include access to jobs, labor participation rates, the distribution of income within a community.  These factors allow working age residents to remain in the community, providing support for other residents and tax receipts for local governments. They also provide the means to overcome many of the barriers to health opportunity included in other profiles.The dashboards below allow you to explore your community in detail on the following factors included in the Consumer Opportunity Profile:

1. Employment Accessibility Indicator: A measure of the number of jobs accessible to members of the community. Accessibility is determined by distance: close jobs are more accessible than jobs farther away.
2. Income Inequality Indicator: The Gini Index, a common measure of income inequality, measures whether the income earned within a community is distributed broadly or concentrated within the hands of small number of households.
3. Job Participation Indicator: The percentage of individuals 16-64 years of age active in the civilian labor force. It includes both those currently working and those seeking work.

Use the dashboards below to explore the Economic Opportunity Profile and its indicators in your area.

A Closer Look

Health opportunity varies broadly across Virginia. It also varies significantly block by block and street by street within local health districts. Use the map below to examine the Economic Opportunity Profile at the Census Tract level in your community. Census Tracts are statistical areas created by the US Census Bureau that roughly equate to neighborhoods or groups of neighborhoods with similar characteristics.