To enable the analysis of geographically-related health disparities throughout this report, each ZIP code was labeled urban, suburban or rural. The designations were driven by the USDA’s Rural-Urban Commuting (RUCA) codes, which were developed based on population density, urbanization and daily commuting patterns. For this health equity analysis, ZIP codes with RUCA 2-10 are designated as rural areas. The USDA’s RUCA 1 ZIP codes in Rochester and Elmira are designated as urban areas, and the other RUCA 1 ZIP codes are designated as suburban.
The data for this analysis are from the nine Finger Lakes counties of Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates.
Methodology note: The SES index ranking was developed by Common Ground Health and calculated using a variety of socioeconomic indicators from the American Community Survey including average income, poverty rates, education levels, housing value, and homeownership. Each ZIP code is assigned a socioeconomic (SES) index ranking from 1 to 5. The lower SES ZIP codes tend to have lower average income, higher poverty rates, lower prevalence of college degrees, etc.