Health and Medical Care Archive

Data Archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

National Profile of Local Health Departments, 2013 (ICPSR 34990)

Principal Investigator(s):


Conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the purpose of this survey of local health departments (LHDs) was to advance and support the development of a database for LHDs to describe and understand their structure, function, and capacities. A core set of questions was submitted to every LHD. In addition, some LHDs received one of two randomly assigned modules of supplemental questions. The core questions covered governance, funding, workforce (staffing levels, occupations employed, top executive education and licensure), LHD activities, community health assessment and health improvement planning, use of the Community Guide of Preventive Services, and policy-making and advocacy. The surveyed LHD activities include immunization, screening for diseases and conditions, treatment for communicable diseases, maternal and child health, epidemiology and surveillance activities, population-based primary prevention activities, and regulation, inspection and/or licensing activities. Topics covered by Module 1 included quality improvement, accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board, sharing of resources across LHDs, human resources issues, partnerships and collaboration with other organizations in the community, practice-based research, health impact assessments, use of the County Health Rankings reports, and collaboration with public health institutes. Module 2 examined emergency preparedness, public health informatics, access to health care services, and health disparities.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access.

    As explained in the ICPSR Processing Notes in the codebook, some variables are restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining the Restricted-Use Version of the Data, which contains both the restricted variables and the variables in the Public-Use Version of the Data (the not restricted variables), must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to the Restricted-Use Version of the Data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

    To obtain the Public-Use Version of the Data, users must submit a data request form (user agreement) which is provided together with the technical documentation for this study. Submission instructions are included on the form.

  • These data are available to the general public.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Public-Use Version of the Data - Download All Files (30.6 MB)

ASCII + SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  Restricted-Use Version of the Data - Download All Files (30.7 MB)

ASCII + SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Wilhoit, Jan. National Profile of Local Health Departments, 2013. ICPSR34990-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-05-16.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (69284)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5U38HM000449-05;1U38OT000172-01)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   community health, health care services, health departments, health planning, local government, public health

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 2013

Date of Collection:  

  • 2013

Universe:   The survey universe comprises 2,532 of the approximately 2,800 agencies in the United States that met NACHHO's definition of a LHD: an administrative or service unit of local or state government, concerned with health, and carrying some responsibility for the health of a jurisdiction smaller than the state. Hawaii and Rhode Island were excluded because their state health departments operate on behalf of local public health and have no sub-state units.

Data Types:   census/enumeration data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

This is the seventh National Profile of Local Health Departments conducted by NACCHO. The previous rounds were conducted in 1989-1990, 1992-1993, 1996-1997, 2005, 2008, and 2010. ICPSR also houses the 2010 Profile (ICPSR 32922) and the 2008 Profile (ICPSR 26962) but not the earlier rounds.

More information about this study can be found on the NACCHO Web site.


Sample:   The survey attempted to interview all of the LHDs in the survey universe. Stratified random sampling was used to select LHDs that were assigned one of the two modules of supplementary questions. Altogether, 1,288 LHDs received the core questions only, 624 the core questions plus Module 1, and 620 the core questions plus Module 2.

Mode of Data Collection:   web-based survey

Response Rates:   Overall, the study had a response rate of 79 percent: 2,000 of 2,532 LHDs.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2014-07-01 The Public-Use Data Agreement has been revised.

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