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NUR 444 Community Health Survey / Windshield Survey: Home

Resources and techniques to research the health of a community; NUR 444

About Community Health Surveys

At times it can be valuable to gather and analyze information about a community. Your local community has characteristics and personality depending upon the people who live their, the places of employment, the leisure opportunities, etc. and these can also impact the overall health of the community. It is valuable for health professionals to become aware of the nature of the community they serve. 

There are some helpful resources and search techniques that can be used to gather information and data about a community. Librarians can help researchers identify, find, and use these resources successfully.

Windshield Surveys

A windshield survey is a method of assessing the characteristics and needs of a community while walking or driving through.

More Useful Subject Guides


StatsIndiana is a website of Indiana data and statistics maintained by the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Much of the data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

  1. Go to StatsIndiana
  2. At the top of the webpage, click Profiles > USA Towns in Profile
  3. Enter the name of the city or town. Town names will be suggested.
  4. Select the appropriate one. The search will automatically start.

Not in Indiana? Is there a data center in your state? Search the Internet to find out.

Local Public Libraries

You may use a local public library to get information about a community. The public library often collects books, reports, and other information about the surrounding community. Ask the librarians for help. They may have historical records not yet added to the library catalog or the website! Many librarians are delighted to talk to you about their community.

American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) of the U.S. Census Bureau uses a series of monthly samples to produce annually updated estimates for small areas (census tracts and block groups).

  1. Go to the American Community Survey.
  2. On the left, select Data Profiles
  3. Select the most recent year.
  4. In the box in the middle of the webpage, select your State.
  5. Select your County or Place (town).
  6. Click Get Data Profile button.
  7. The Results appear below the button.
  8. Click the following, as desired.
    1. Social Characteristics
    2. Economic Characteristics 
    3. Housing Characteristics
    4. Demographic Characteristics

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps is maintained by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and includes county-level data from several national data sources.

  1. On the United States map, select your state.
  2. On the Indiana map, select your county.
  3. A report of health demographics for your county appear as compared to the state of Indiana as a whole.
  4. To view ethnicity data, click the + next to County Demographics.

Reference USA

Reference USA is a database that can be used to find "companies" located within a specific location. "Companies" include businesses, organizations, churches, ATMs, fire departments, police departments, schools, etc.

  1. From the ISU Library homepage, click Articles & Databases
  2. Click Databases A-Z
  3. Scroll down and select Reference USA
  4. Under US Businesses, click Search
  5. Select Additional Filters
  6. On the left, scroll down to Geography. Select one of the following as appropriate.
    1. City/State
    2. Metro Area
    3. ZIP Codes
    4. County
  7. In the middle, use the dropdown to select the appropriate region OR type in the Filter Choices box to display only those which match your typing.
  8. On the right, click the View Results button.
  9. The Results appear. Click the Company Name to view more information.


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Indiana Indicators

Indiana INdicators is maintained by the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Hospital Association and includes health measures to monitor and evaluate health.

  1. Go to Indiana INdicators at
  2. Under Community Dashboards, enter a county or city name.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Suggestions will appear. Choose the one you want.
  5. The search will automatically start.
  6. Results will appear as a list of health metrics displayed on a colorful bar as compared to the state of Indiana as a whole.