Missouri Senior Report 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I keep in mind when looking at these data?
  • The Missouri Senior Report is a conversation starter. When you interpret the trend on any indicator, try to put the data into the context of what has occurred in your county. Did new businesses open (or close)? Were there particular ballot issues that may have affected voter turnout?
  • In addition to things that were happening in your county, the rankings are relative to other counties. Even though your county may have improved on an indicator since the last report, it may not rank as high as it did before because other counties were improving, too.
How do I find the data for my county?

There are several ways to explore data for each county. The following options are available on the navigation bar.

  • Browse Data: users can interactively select measure data for one or more counties, as well as multiple time periods. Users can download these data or display them graphically.
  • Map Data: users can choose any point of measure data in the Senior Report data library and display a map of how those data points vary across the state.
  • County Indicators: displays printer-friendly snapshots of all indicators in that county, as well as that county's rank on each indicator and the composite county rank.
  • Archives: consists of printer-friendly versions of prior editions of the Missouri Senior Report, as well as downloadable data files.
What is an outcome indicator?

An outcome indicator represents an issue important to the overall well-being of seniors in your community. The following outcome indicators are included in the Missouri Senior Report:

  • Economic well-being
  • Workforce participation
  • Economic contribution
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Household composition
  • Civic engagement
  • Long-term care
  • Safety
  • Health status
  • Health care access

A full description of each outcome indicator, and the data used to calculate them, is available on the definitions page.

What is an outcome measure?
An outcome measure is the specific item that indicates how well seniors are doing in regard to an issue. For example, "Primary Care Physicians per 1,000 Seniors" is the outcome measure for the outcome indicator, "Health Care Access". A full description of all outcome measures used for each outcome measure is available on the definitions page.
Why were these data selected to be included in the Missouri Senior Report?
Measures were selected by the advisory board. In order to be included in the Senior Report all measures must be available on an annual basis and collected in a consistent manner across counties, allowing for both comparison over time and between counties.
What is a status indicator?

The status indicators describe the characteristics of the senior population in a county at a single point in time. Status indicators provide context for understanding and prioritizing the outcome indicators. The three status indicators used in the Missouri Senior Report are:

  • Demographics
  • Quality of life
  • Health and wellness

A full description of the status indicators and the data that inform them are available on the definitions page.

What is an index?
An index is a tool that combines more than one indicator into a single value by converting different units of measurement into a standard unit of measure. An index is used to describe an indicator when single measures are unavailable.
How do I interpret the county rank?

The county rank for an outcome indicator represents the relative position of a county in the context of all 114 Missouri counties and St. Louis City, with "1" indicating the most positive finding. There are several things to keep in mind regarding county ranks:

  • County ranks are not directly comparable from year to year. Although we try to identify data sources that are established and likely to be maintained, there may be slight variations in the way data are collected or reported from year to year.
  • Rather than focusing on a county's exact rank (or its change from one report to the next), it can be more useful to consider whether a county's rank has changed more than 20%, which is one quintile. This is because there is often very little difference between counties that are ranked more closely together. For the 115 geographies analyzed in the Missouri Senior Report, a 20% change in a county's rank would be a change of at least 23 places.
  • Counties that have smaller populations may see greater amounts of change on an indicator from year to year, as compared to counties with larger populations. It's like painting a picture... the more brush strokes (or people) there are, the more realistic the picture is going to look.
How do I interpret the composite rank?
The composite county rank is a ranked index of the sum of the standardized outcome measures and represents the relative position of a county in the context of all 114 Missouri counties and St. Louis City, with "1" indicating the highest overall score. The economic contribution, housing, and long-term care costs indicators are not calculated in the composite rank because variation in local economies makes it difficult to make direct comparisons between counties on these issues. Similarly, civic engagement is not included in the composite rank because of the potential influence of local ballot issues and national election cycles.