Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, can affect human health in several direct and indirect ways. Tracking data may be used to inform decision-making and policies that can help local communities assess vulnerabilities, estimate the burden, and build overall resilience against the effects of a changing climate.
Climate Change Data
The following datasets can be used to better understand how changes in temperature and precipitation and occurrence of heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires can influence human health. While all communities are vulnerable to health effects associated with climate change, not everyone is equally at risk. Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.
This indicator provides information about the housing units within a community. It includes the total number of housing units, as well as the number and percent of housing units with 10 or more units, more people than rooms, and no vehicle available. In addition, you can find the number and percent of vacant housing units, renter-occupied housing, and mobile homes. Also included are data on the number and percent of the population living in group quarters. Census tract, county, and state level data are available.
- Internet Access
This indicator provides information about internet access. It includes number and percent of people with access to computer with internet (but no cell phone). It also includes the and number and percent of households with smartphones, households with a smartphone but no other device, and households with no internet access. In addition, you can find number and percent of people who have a computer without an internet subscription, with different age, income, and education options. Census tract, county, and state level data are available.
- Land Cover
This indicator provides census tract, county, and state level data on the percent of land covered by water, percent of land covered by forest, and percent of developed imperviousness.
- Land Use
This indicator provides census tract, county, and state level data on the percent of land used for agriculture and percent of developed land use. It also provides rural-urban county classifications.
- Historical Drought
This indicator uses SPEI data to show the number of months of mild or worse drought per year and the maximum number of consecutive months of mild or worse drought. It uses the USDM data to show the number of weeks of moderate or worse drought per year and the maximum number of consecutive weeks of moderate or worse drought. The USDM provides a consistent big-picture look at drought conditions in the United States; it is not recommended for inferring specifics about the vulnerability of local populations to drought.
- Temperature & Heat Projections
This indicator shows modeled county-level data to look at projections of extreme daytime and nighttime temperatures to better understand how our climate is changing. These data can be used to identify changes in extreme heat over time and focus preparedness plans to lessen the health effects of extreme heat.
- Historical Temperature & Heat Index
This indicator allows you to look at temperature, heat index, and number of days to define extremely hot days and extreme heat events using modeled data by county and census tract during May-September of each year.
- Heat-related Emergency Department Visits * ¶
This indicator estimates the number and rate of emergency department visits for heat stress. It includes all cases where heat stress is listed as a primary or other diagnosis.
- Heat-related Hospitalizations * ¶
This indicator estimates the number and rate of hospitalizations for heat stress. It includes all cases where heat stress is listed as a primary or other diagnosis.
- Heat-related Mortality
This indicator is based on data from death certificates to evaluate deaths that have identified heat as an underlying or contributing cause.
* These data come from hospital records and may not capture the full range of heat-related illness if exposure to excess heat is not explicitly documented. These data can be used to document changes over place and time, monitor vulnerable areas, and evaluate the results of local climate-adaptation strategies. ¶ These data are supplied by health departments funded by the CDC Tracking Program.
This indicator includes population estimates (number and percent) of people by race, ethnicity, age, gender, single-parent households, speaking English less than “very well’, and aged 65 years and older and living alone. Data are presented at Census tract, county, and/or state level for all states.
- Health Status
This indicator includes data on number and percent of people uninsured; number and percent of people over 5 years of age with a disability; and percent of population diagnosed with diabetes. Data are presented at Census tract, county, and/or state level for all states.
- Socioeconomic Status
This indicator includes data on poverty, household income, employment status, and high school (or equivalent) graduation status. Data are presented at Census tract, county, and/or state level for all states.
- Historical Precipitation
This indicator provides the number of extreme precipitation days and the monthly estimates of precipitation by county and census tract for every state except Alaska and Hawaii.
- Precipitation & Flooding Projections
This indicator shows modeled precipitation data on projected extreme precipitation days and projected maximum precipitation during an extreme event. The projected data result from comparing projected values for different time periods (early 21st century, mid-21st century, and late 21st century) to historical data from 1976-2005. Data are available nationwide at the county level.
- Vulnerability & Preparedness: Precipitation & Flooding
This indicator provides county-level estimates on the total area and percentage of total areas within a flood hazard zone, as well as the number of residents and housing units per county in a 100-year flood zone. The data use flood hazard risk areas defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agencyexternal icon (FEMA) and the Environmental Protection Agencyexternal icon (EPA).
- Heat Vulnerability & Preparedness
This indicator provides information about the factors that put individuals at greater risk of heat-related health effects. These measures are diabetes, heart disease, poverty, race, advanced age, social isolation, disabilities, population density, forest canopy, developed land use, and cultivated crop land use.
- Medical Infrastructure
This indicator provides county-level data on the numbers of hospitals, numbers of hospital beds, percentage of hospitals located within a flood hazard area, and percentage of hospital beds located within a flood hazard area. These data can be used to identify community vulnerabilities, plan resource needs, and inform disaster preparedness efforts.
- Social Vulnerability Index
This indicator shows relative vulnerability of every U.S. Census tract on 14 social factors including poverty, lack of vehicle access, and crowded housing. The factors are grouped into four related themes. Each Census tract receives a ranking for each variable, each theme, and an overall ranking. These data can be used by public health officials and local planners to better prepare communities to respond to emergency events like severe weather, floods, disease outbreaks, or chemical exposure. Depending on the year, data are available at the Census tract and county level for all states.
This indicator displays locations of predicted surface smoke concentrations from wildfires that are layered on top of county- and census tract-level measures of access to care and social vulnerability, health status, annual air quality levels, or population characteristics
Climate Change Resources
- Climate and Health Program
View information, recommendations, and resources on climate change, how it affects human health, and building resilience against its effects
- Heat and Health Tracker
Explore how extreme heat affects your county, populations that are at risk, and resources for response.