Assessment of the Area Deprivation Index in Rural Areas

Research center:
Project funded:
September 2022
Project completed:
March 2024

The Area Deprivation Index (ADI) was created by University of Wisconsin researchers to provide a score for neighborhoods based on their level of disadvantage. This study characterized differences in ADI in rural vs urban areas, summarized the existing literature on ADI, and described expert considerations for utilizing the ADI for future policy.

This mixed methods study included three main components:

  • Review existing peer-reviewed literature regarding the use of ADI. This component considered the association between ADI and outcomes related to access, utilization, and/or quality of care as well as how ADI is being used in the peer-reviewed literature to date with a focus on studies considering rural areas specifically.
  • Utilized key informant interviews to understand the limitations and considerations of using the ADI as a measure of socioeconomic vulnerability for informing rural health policy.
  • A quantitative analysis computed, compared, and provided descriptive statistics of rural vs urban communities; considered differences and implications of different methods for aggregating ADI rank from the census block group level to varying geographic levels (e.g. 9-digit ZIP codes, 5-digit ZIP codes, and counties); linked ADI to Frontier and Remote Area codes; and explored the content and implications of data missingness.