The Area Resource File/Area Health Resources Files are a database of health resources data, measured at the county level for over 6,000 indicators. The information includes measures of employment in various health professions including numbers of professionals registered as M.D., D.O., DDS, R.N., L.P.N., veterinarian, pharmacist, optometrist, podiatrist, and dental hygienist; availability of health facilities including hospital size, type, utilization, staffing and services, and nursing home data; frequency of utilization including utilization rates, inpatient days, outpatient visits and operations data; hospital and Medicare expenditures and demographic and geographic indicators by county. The information is collected from several sources which are noted in the technical documentation and provided by the Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This information has also been collected for earlier years in an earlier distribution which is available through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) data holdings as Study #9075.
Area Resource File data from the 2005 release are available via Emory University's Dataverse in various formats: ASCII data with SAS code, comma-delimited (.csv) files, and Stata (.dta) files. The data are available for use by Emory students, faculty and staff. They are also provided as a whole, and in smaller datasets that are divided into broad subjects (Professions, Population, Facilities and Expenditures and Utilization). They are provided in both "wide" and "long" formats.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SEVERAL OF THESE FILES ARE VERY LARGE. They may exceed the size limits for spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel. If you need assistance getting ARF data into a particular format, please contact Dr. O'Reilly.
The subject files are smaller because they are created by breaking the complete files into pieces by subject. Downloading these individually may prove faster and more manageable. Note that each subject file includes county identification variables for merging purposes.
Other Resources and Links for the Area Resource File Data:
Area Resource Files (ARF), 1978 - 2020 -- The National Archives and Records Administration has editions of the ARF back to 1978. The data are available in the form of large ASCII text files. For 2000 onward, the documentation for the data generally (but not always!) includes syntax to import the ASCII data into SAS..
ICPSR Study #9075: Bureau of Health Professions Area Resource File, 1940-1990 -- An older version of the Area Resource File hosted by the ICPSR.