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Community Health Profile: Kensington, Philadelphia

Photo of Kensington Skyline

Community Brief
October 2019

What is a Community Health Profile?

A community health profile uses publicly available existing data to describe the health of a neighborhood or community. The data used are often called "indicators" of neighborhood health status. The purpose of this health profile is to describe the health and related factors that can impact health (such as income and neighborhood characteristics). This snapshot of neighborhood health status can help community leaders describe the current circumstances to advocate for and utilize resources to plan new programs or services to improve community health. It can also be useful to have these snapshots of over time to see whether improvement efforts have created positive change. 

What data was used in creating this Community Health Profile?

Data were obtained from a variety of sources to create this brief. Data on neighborhood characteristics were obtained from sources like the US census bureau and Philadelphia city agencies. Data on self-rated health, diagnoses, behaviors, and perceptions of safety were obtained from the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, a phone survey of more than 10,000 households. We used a statistical method of small area estimation to create estimates of these characteristics at the census tract level (which is a small group of city blocks) and map them. This allows us to show how traits vary across the Kensington area, because Kensington is made up of multiple neighborhoods and numerous census tracts. In addition, we averaged the data for all of the census tracts in this area to get an overall picture of the Kensington area, which can be compared to Philadelphia averages.


Data Source Description Data used Date

1. US Census Bureau American Community Survey

Provides information about demographic information, jobs and employment, education, and home ownership, among other topics

Age, poverty rate, household income per capita, percent uninsured, percent non-English primary language


2. City of Philadelphia Office of Innovation and Technology

Output of a model developed in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, Office of Property Assessment, Philadelphia Land Bank and Philadelphia, and Water Department

Vacant lot and building data


3. Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey (SEPAHHS)

PHMC conducts a landline and cell phone survey of more than 10,000 households in Southeastern Pennsylvania every two years and focuses on health

Current smokers, cut meal or skipped a meal, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, mental health diagnoses, self-rated health, perceived safety


4. US Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP) from the National Center for Health Statistics

The USALEEP project used abridged period life tables to estimate census-tract life expectancy

Life expectancy data


5. Philadelphia Police Department via OpenDataPhilly

Part 1 and Part 2 Crime Incidents with codes used by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system

Crime data


6. Philly311 via OpenDataPhilly

All requests submitted via mobile application, calls, walk-ins, emails, website or social media

311 requests


Strengths and Limitations of These Data

Data from the PHMC Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey samples from all of Southeastern Pennsylvania so there may not be a lot of representation from Kensington specifically. This profile combines three sets of data spanning six years to create stable estimates, and our team created small area estimates specifically for this area. Some programs (e.g., Medicaid expansion) may have changed during the data collection period, which could impact the results. Like any survey data, results may not be representative of all Kensington residents. However, this is the most complete health data on Kensington that currently exists.

The data used in this profile is useful for monitoring change because it is routinely collected over time. Please contact the Urban Health Collaborative at with any questions about these data or how we created tract- and neighborhood-level estimates.


Confair A, Carroll-Scott A, Castro K, Zhao Y, Melly S, Kolker J, Lankenau S, Roth A. Community Health Profile: Kensington, Philadelphia, PA: Drexel University Urban Health Collaborative; October 2019