NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) released an interactive mapping tool late last year. The tool is intended to guide rural communities in developing their strategies related to COVID-19. It also contains sociodemographic, cause of death, health care access and other data that is relevant to tobacco control. The measures included in the mapping tool provide a comprehensive picture of the well-being of rural communities, and it is the first publicly available tool to display a county-level map of the prosperity index developed by NORC. The prosperity index is calculated for each county in the United States using standardized values of 16 indicators belonging to one of four categories: economic risk, economic resilience, social risk and social resilience. The tool enables county-level investigation of any of the data included in the map for free.  


Key features of the mapping tool: 

  • To highlight areas of need, users can customize the map view to display only the rural counties in the United States. 
  • To compare all county-level data to the rest of the state and the country, every county has an individual fact sheet.  
  • All data included in the tool can be downloaded for free and used by the public. 


The tool is an important resource for rural communities looking for data on factors influencing the well-being of their communities. The map is available for use online, and more information about the project can be found on NORC’s website


Author: Emily Bell, Intern, GHEA