Information by Location (IBL)

The IBL mapping tool lets you explore and compare your community with those around you. It displays information for a variety of topics by presenting a community's rank between 1 (lowest) and 10 (highest). Each number represents 10% of the communities. For example, if your community is ranked a 7 for health disparities, it means that 60% of the communities in Washington State have a lower level of health disparity and 30% have a greater level of disparity.

Exploring IBL - Video

Information About Rankings

Why rankings?

Rankings create a common scale to compare different issues at the community level. Rankings allow us to display health information while protecting confidentiality in communities with small populations.

How did we create the rankings?

We ranked all of the topics, themes, and measures using deciles (1 decile = 10%). Each decile represents about 10% of the values in the data set. To calculate the topic ranks we averaged all the theme ranks within the index. To calculate the theme ranks we averaged all the individual measures ranks within that theme.

In January 2022, we discovered inaccuracies in some of the ranks displayed in the Information by Location (IBL) tool. The problem was due to a data processing error in the tool's platform, not from errors in the underlying data or methodology. The error was corrected on January 31st, 2022, and the affected ranks were updated to reflect the correct information. To ensure future errors like this do not occur again, we have enhanced our data checking processes.

How to interpret the rankings:

You can interpret rankings as a way to measure how communities compare across Washington.

  • For example: if your community has a poverty rank of 9, that means that about 10% of the other communities have a higher proportion of their population living below the poverty level, while 80% have a lower proportion of their population living below the poverty level.

The IBL does not show the actual numeric difference between each rank. The ranks only show that there is a difference, not how much. To see the range of data used to create the ranks, you can select the graph icon next to the measure within the IBL to search WTN data. You can then export the data table and sort to see the distribution of data.

The rankings help to compare health and social factors that may contribute to disparities in a community. You should not interpret rankings as absolute values. Do not use them to diagnose a community health issue or to label a community.

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Contact Us

For information or questions related to the Washington Tracking Network, email DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.

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National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program