This measure tracks the percentage of residents who lack convenient access to markets where healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables are sold. Factors restricting access include physical proximity, access to a vehicle and household income. The calculation of the percentage required an in-depth analysis of data related to the locations of food markets. The methodology for the analysis drew from work by the U.S. Department of Agriculture aimed at identifying "food deserts" across the country; however, in order to better inform policy decisions at the local level, the analysis was performed using geographic units roughly equating to neighborhoods.
The Gini index is the most commonly used measure of income distribution and is estimated annually for U.S. populations by the Census Bureau based on household income. The Gini index has a theoretical range of 0 to 1. An index of 0 indicates perfect equality, where all households have the same income. An index of 1 indicates maximal inequality, where one household has all the income and the others have none. The Gini indices for the U.S. and for the state of Georgia for 2016 were both around 0.48. (It should be noted that the Gini index can be calculated in different ways and can therefore vary between sources for the same population. The Census Bureau, for example, calculates the index based on pre-tax income, so their index will appear high compared to sources that use income after tax transfers.)
Food insecurity is used as a measure of a household’s inability to reliably provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life. It is used as an index for the risk of hunger. The food insecurity index is determined annually for each county in the U.S. using a methodology developed by Feeding America based on publicly available demographic and economic data.
This measure represents the percentage of women in Fulton County who receive care from a doctor at least once during pregnancy to help ensure the health of the mother and baby. Prenatal visits to a doctor generally include a physical exam and weight checks. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, it may also include blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams. Visits may also include discussions about the mother's health, the infant's health, and any questions about the pregnancy.
This measure tracks the number of health-based water violations by all medium to very large public water systems in Fulton County. Health-based violations occur when a water system detects levels of a contaminant exceeding the safety level (called the maximum contaminant level (MCL)) or when the water system fails to treat the water as required to remove particular contaminants (called a treatment technique violation). Fulton County and the City of Atlanta operate the largest public water systems in the county, but there a number of smaller system included in this measure.
The high school education rate is the percentage of county residents 25 years or older who have received a high school diploma or a general education development (GED) certificate. A GED certificate is earned by taking a battery of tests and performing at a level equal to or above 60% of high school seniors.