California Population Data
VitalWeb Wizard
Online Help




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Table of Contents


  1. Introduction

    Wizard Starts in Step-by-Step "Beginner" Mode
    Wizard also Runs in Jump-to-Step "Expert" Mode
  2. Table Settings

    Main Statistic
    Table Axes (Rows and Columns)
    Statistic / Axis Conflicts
  3. Data Variables

    Categorical Variables
    Range Variables
    Statistic / Variable Conflicts
    Other Settings
  4. Chart Settings

    Bar Chart Coloring
    Bar Chart Layout
    Line Chart Settings
    More Line Chart Settings
    Pie Chart Coloring
    Pie Chart Layout
    Tabular Charts / Chart Links
  5. Map Settings

    Map Coloring
    Map Layout
    Map Color Palettes
  6. Producing and Using Results

    Getting Results
    Viewing Results
    Printing Results
    Saving Results
  7. Other Information

    Glossary
    Race Categories
    County Groupings
    Statistical Methods
    Data Sources and Limitations
    Links to Related Resources
    Whom to Contact
    Legal Information



Wizard Starts in Step-by-Step "Beginner" Mode


Screenshot of Basic Wizard
 
Instructions for Using Step-by-Step Mode:
 
  1. Make selections - At each step, make selections.
  2. Go to next step - Click "Next Step" to move forward.
  3. Make output - At last step, produce output table (or map).
  4. View output - Results appears in the same window as the wizard.
  5. Return to wizard - Click browser "Back" button after viewing output.
  6. Continue - Click "Restart" to start wizard again at first step.
 
  - To go back a step, click "Previous Step" (not browser "Back" button).
  - You may switch to Jump-to-Step mode (see next page) at any time.


Wizard also Runs in Jump-to-Step "Expert" Mode


Screenshot of Advanced Wizard
 
Instructions for Using Jump-to-Step Mode:
 
  1. Jump to step - Click on a step name from top (green) or right (tan) of interface.
  2. Make selections - At the chosen step, make selections. Each step is unique.
  3. Make output - When satisfied with selections, click "Make Table" or "Make Map".
  4. View output - Results appears in the same window as the wizard.
  5. Return to wizard - Click browser "Back" button after viewing output.
  6. Continue - Make selections on current step, or click on a different step.
 
  - To go back a step, click step name (not browser "Back" button).
  - You may switch back to Step-by-Step mode (see previous page) at any time.


Main Statistic


Main Statistic - The basic numerical result in the output.

Main statistics include: Population | Median Population Age | Percent in Age Grouping

Selecting - Click on desired setting, such as Population.





Example Statistic Selector (above)


Table Axes (Rows and Columns)


  Age
Year 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80+
1990 100 120 140 160 180
1991 120 140 160 180 200
1992 140 160 180 200 220

- Rows - Are horizontal lines of data, such as the row for 1991.
- Row Sort - Rows can be sorted, low to high, or high to low.
- Columns - Go up and down, such as the column for age 0-19.
- Multi-Tables - Also called "By Variable". Make a series of tables.

Selecting - Click on desired setting, such as "Sex" or "Year".





Example Row, Column, or Multi-Table Selector (above)


Statistic / Axis Conflicts


If a conflict between Main Statistic and Axis Variable:
 
  - Vitalnet alerts you of the conflict (mismatch).
  - Vitalnet prevents contradictory results.
 
Examples of conflicting settings:
 
  - Race rows -- race columns
  - Year rows -- year columns


Selecting Data Variables


Data variables include - age, race, sex, year, county.

Selecting - Click on one or more values.



Example Data Variable Selector (for Age) (above)


Selecting Data Variable Groupings


Certain data variables allow different "groupings".
For example, 5-year or 10-year age groups.
 
To change the grouping in actual interface:
 
  - 1. Click on desired grouping.
  - 2. Click on "Select" button.
 






Example Data Grouping Selection (above)


Statistic / Variable Conflicts


No Left Turn Sign Sometimes, a conflict exists between a variable and a population-based rate. Vitalnet automatically prevents this from producing misleading output.
 
This is best shown with an example: Suppose there are 408,000 births, and the population is 12,000,000 females. Thus, the birth rate is 34 births per 1,000 females (408,000 / 12,000,000).
 
Now, suppose we try limiting the analysis to women with 12 years education. We know there are 108,000 births to such women. The result would seem to be 9 births per 1,000 such women (108,000/ 12,000,000). But of course this is totally wrong, because the denominator is not adjusted. And we don't have the population denominator data for women with 12 years education, so there is no easy solution.
 
To resolve this problem, when Vitalnet makes a rate calculation, it automatically prevents spurious results from being produced, by automatically adding all categories to demographic variables that are not included in the population data set.
 
So, for example, if you try to calculate a birth rate for women with 12 years of education, Vitalnet simply ignores the limitation to 12 years of education. Instead, it includes all levels of education, so the numerator and denominator match up. And it correctly reports that all levels of education were analyzed.
 
In contrast, if you try to calcuate a cesarean rate for women with 12 years of education, this does not require population data, only requires information on the births, so Vitalnet calculates the cesarean rate, limited to women with 12 years of education.


Other Settings


Other Settings include the following options:
 
Statistic Modifiers:
  - None
 
Secondary Statistics:
  - Table Percents - Row or Column Percents for Table
  - Trend Algorithm - Algorithm to use for Trend Analysis
  - Trend Confidence Level - Confidence Level, such as 95%
 
Miscellaneous Details:
  - Decimal Place Digits - Decimal Places, such as 2 for 5.99
  - HTML Output Font - Font for HTML Output, such as Arial
  - Spreadsheet Format - Spreadsheet Data Format, such as CSV
  - Tabular Chart - Tabular Chart Width, or Omit Chart
  - Unique ID - Unique ID on Maps and Charts


Bar Chart Coloring


There are three settings for customizing Vitalnet bar chart colors:

  - The background color behind the chart.
  - The color palette to use for the bars.
  - The first color in the palette to use for the bars.

Below are shown the three settings, with examples for each:
 
 

Background Color for Chart (10 options)
 
Chart Image
White
 
  Chart Image
Grey 90
 
  Chart Image
Lemon Chiffon
 
  Chart Image
Light Blue
 

Color Palette for Bars (4 options)
 
Chart Image
Bright Colors
 
Chart Image
Subdued Colors
 
Chart Image
Bright + Subdued
 
Chart Image
Black + White
 

First Color in Palette to Use (10 options)
 
Chart Image
A Forward
 
Chart Image
D Reverse
 
Chart Image
E Forward
 
Chart Image
J Reverse
 



Bar Chart Layout


There are six ways to customize the layout of Vitalnet bar charts:
 
  - Bar height, and bar width.
  - Orientation (horizontal or vertical).
  - Stacking (works with either horizontal or vertical bars).
  - Grid lines may be added, or font size changed.
 
 

Bar Chart Height (9 options)
 
Chart Image
2 cm High
 
Chart Image
4 cm High
 

Width of Bars (8 options)
 
Chart Image
0.2 cm Wide
 
Chart Image
0.6 cm Wide
 

Vertical or Horizontal Bars
 
Chart Image
Vertical Bars
 
  Chart Image
Horizontal
 

Stacked Bars, or not Stacked
 
Chart Image
Stacked Bars
 
Chart Image
Not Stacked
 

Include or Omit Grid Lines
 
Chart Image
Include Grid
 
Chart Image
Omit Grid
 

Font Size for Chart Text (8 options)
 
Chart Image
10 pt Font
 
  Chart Image
14 pt Font
 



Line Chart Settings


There are eight ways to customize Vitalnet line charts, as shown on this and the next page.
 
 

Background Color for Chart (10 options)
 
Chart Image
Alice Blue
 
  Chart Image
Light Yellow
 

Include or Omit Data Point Symbols (2 options)
 
Chart Image
Include Symbols
 
  Chart Image
Omit Symbols
 

Radius for Chart Symbols (10 options)
 
Chart Image
1.0 mm Radius
 
  Chart Image
1.4 mm Radius
 

 
Line Chart Height - Vitalnet also allows you to set the chart height, eg 3.0 cm (9 height options).


More Line Chart Settings



Width of Lines (3 options)
 
Chart Image
Thin Lines
 
  Chart Image
Thick Lines
 

Include or Omit Grid Lines (2 options)
 
Chart Image
Include Grid
 
  Chart Image
Omit Grid
 

Colored Lines, or Black + White (2 options)
 
Chart Image
Colored Lines
 
  Chart Image
Black + White Lines
 

 
Font Size - Vitalnet also allows you to select font size, eg 9 pt (8 font size options).


Pie Chart Coloring


There are three settings for customizing Vitalnet pie chart coloring:

  - The background color behind the chart.
  - The color palette to use for the pie chart.
  - The first color in the palette to use (for slice #1).
 
 

Background Color for Chart (10 options)
 
Chart Image
Cornsilk Background
 
Chart Image
Grey Background
 
Chart Image
Light Cyan
 

Color Palette for Pie Chart (3 options)
 
Chart Image
Bright Colors
 
Chart Image
Subdued Colors
 
Chart Image
Mixed Colors
 

Slice #1 Color to Use (10 options)
 
Chart Image
Color A for #1
 
Chart Image
Color B for #1
 
Chart Image
Color C for #1
 



Pie Chart Layout


There are four settings for customizing Vitalnet pie chart layout, as shown below:
 
 

Slice #1 Clock Position (12 options)
 
Chart Image
Slice #1 at Noon
 
  Chart Image
Slice #1 at 3:00
 
  Chart Image
Slice #1 at 6:00
 

How to Label Pie Chart (9 options)
 
Chart Image
Line + Label
 
  Chart Image
Label Only
 
  Chart Image
Use Legend
 

How to Display Slice Percents (3 options)
 
Chart Image
Percent After Label
 
  Chart Image
Under Label
 
  Chart Image
Omit Percents
 

 
Pie Chart Radius - Vitalnet also allows you to select the pie chart size, eg 2.0 cm (9 options).


Tabular Charts / Chart Links


Tabular chart


A "tabular chart" is a convenient way of making comparisons.

The tabular chart is always made, unless turned off from the "Other Settings" menu. Also, you may specify the width of the columns within the chart.

Chart links: Note the links below the tabular chart. The links connect to additional graphical and data output formats. The example above links to bar chart, text, database, and spreadsheet formats.


Map Coloring



Color Combination for Map (36 options)
 
Map Image
Orange-Red
 
  Map Image
Grey
 
  Map Image
Red-Blue
 

Number of Map Colors (Ranges) (8 options)
 
Map Image
3 Colors
 
  Map Image
5 Colors
 
  Map Image
7 Colors
 

Equal Width, Equal Count, Jenks (3 options)
 
Map Image
Equal Count (Quantiles)
 
Map Image
Equal Interval
 
Map Image
Natural Breaks
 



Map Layout



Boundaries to Display (2 options)
 
Map Image
County Boundaries
 
  Map Image
HSR Boundaries
 
  Map Image
Border Counties
 

Cell Suppression (0 options)
 
Map Image
Suppression Off
 
  Map Image
Suppress < 10
 
  Map Image
Suppress < 30
 

 
PNG and PDF formats - Vitalnet always makes both PNG and PDF map output. Access the PDF version by clicking a link at the bottom of the web page with the PNG map. The PDF version is set to 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
 
Text Font for Map - There are 9 font options for displaying area labels:
 
[ Serif Normal ]     [ Sans-Serif Normal ]     [ Monospace Normal ]  
[ Serif Bold ]     [ Sans-Serif Bold ]     [ Monospace Bold ]  
[ Serif Italic ]     [ Sans-Serif Italic ]     [ Monospace Italic ]  
 
Time Trend Maps - Finally, Vitalnet can make (not shown here) a series of maps, one map for each selected year range. The map series is cycled within a special interface. The data ranges are the same for each map in the series, so you can directly compare the maps.


Map Color Palettes


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   Diverging Palette    BW   CB 
                                                        Brown-BlueGreen   - Y
                                                        Pink-Green   - Y
                                                        Purple-Green   - Y
                                                        Purple-Orange   Y Y
                                                        Red-Blue   - Y
                                                        Red-Grey   - -
                                                        Red-Yellow-Blue   - Y
                                                        Red-Yellow-Green   - -
                                                        Spectral   Y -
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   Sequential Palette    BW   CB 
                                                        Blue   Y Y
                                                        Blue-Green   Y Y
                                                        Blue-Purple   Y Y
                                                        Green-Blue   Y Y
                                                        Green   Y Y
                                                        Grey   Y Y
                                                        Orange   Y Y
                                                        Orange-Red   Y Y
                                                        Purple-Blue   Y Y
                                                        Purple-Blue-Green   Y Y
                                                        Purple-Red   Y Y
                                                        Purple   Y Y
                                                        Red-Purple   Y Y
                                                        Red   Y Y
                                                        Yellow-Green   Y Y
                                                        Yellow-Green-Blue   Y Y
                                                        Yellow-Orange-Brown   Y Y
                                                        Yellow-Orange-Red   Y Y


BW - OK for black and white photocopying?
CB - OK for people with red-green color blindness?
All palettes are suitable for desktop color printing.

References and research used to help design Vitalnet palettes: *** LW Pickle, M Mungiole, GK Jones, AA White, "Atlas of United States Mortality", National Center for Health Statistics, 1997. *** CA Brewer, "Color Use Guidelines for Mapping and Visualization", in "Visualization in Modern Cartography", Elsevier, 1994. *** ColorBrewer web site displays tested color palettes.


Getting Results


Go Sign To produce results:
 
  - Step-by-Step Wizard - At last step, click on "Make Map" or "Make Table".
  - Jump-toStep Wizard - At any time, click on "Make Map" or "Make Table".
 
  - The program will send the query to the server.
  - Your results should return in seconds.
  - The results appear in the window the Wizard is running in.


Viewing Results


Binoculars After you click "Make Map" or "Make Table", results are sent to the window where the Wizard is running.
 
To view results:
 
1. Scroll through the results - Use scroll bar, PgUp, PgDn, etc.
2. Print or Save results - Sends results to printer or disk.
3. Click on footnote links - Displays or downloads charts and data files.

If graphics do not display in the output, try refreshing the browser.
To carry out another analysis, click on the browser "Back" button.


Printing Results


Printer To print results from your browser, use one of the following methods:
 
  - Press CTL-P - Hold down Control key, and press 'P' key.
  - Use Browser Icon - Click on Print Icon (if available).
  - Use Browser Menu - Select "File / Print" (if menu available).
 
If output table is too wide or long, here are two ways to make it fit:
 
  - Use fewer rows or columns. Also makes it easier to understand.
  - Change browser font size. Typical command is: View / Text Size.
 
How to print from a spreadsheet or word processor:
 
1. Click on the appropriate link in output footnotes.
2. Download and import the data file.
  - CSV / TSV / DIF for spreadsheet, such as Excel or StarOffice.
  - ASCII for word processor, such as Word or WordPerfect.
3. Format and print from within your spreadsheet or word processor.


Saving Results


File Cabinet To save results displayed in your browser, do one of the following:
 
  - Press CTL-S - Hold down Control key, and press 'S' key.
  - Use Browser Menu - Select "File / Save" (or equivalent).
 
To save an alternate data format, click on a footnote link:
 
  - ASCII text - For importing into word processing software.
  - CSV/TSV/DIF format - For importing into spreadsheet software.
  - dBASE III - For database, GIS, mapping, statistical software.
 
To save a map as an image file, minus any surrounding text:
 
  1. Position the cursor over the map, using your mouse.
  2. Press the right mouse button to bring up a popup menu.
  3. Select the "Save" option from the popup menu.
  4. Specify the directory (folder) to save the file.
 
Here are some suggestions on naming files:
 
  - Memorable - Select a name that will remind you of the content.
  - Organized - Organize files into project directories (folders).
  - Linkable - Use the unique ID for data files, such as "112jdhkm.dbf".


Glossary


 
Area set - One or more areas combined.
 
ASCII file - A text file, with only alphabetical, numerical, and punctuation characters, like you would see in normal text. Vitalnet can produce output in ASCII format.
 
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US federal health agency.
 
Cell - A space for a single numerical result in a table, at a row-column intersection.
 
Cell suppression - An asterisk "*" is placed in cells with fewer deaths than a limit set by the user. Row / column totals with exactly one suppressed cell in the row / column are also suppressed. If more than one cell in the row / column is suppressed, the row / column total is displayed.
 
Columns - Vertical groupings of data in a Vitalnet table, such as a column for each race group.
 
CSV format - Comma-separated-value format. CSV files are readily imported into spreadsheet software. Each output item is separated by a comma from surrounding items, and each output text item is surrounded by "double quotes". A comma-separated-value file has "csv" extension. Similar to TSV format.
 
Data mining - Finding unexpected relationships in a data set, for further study. Similar to exploratory data analysis. Vitalnet is excellent at data mining. Of course, keep in mind that the more you look, the more unusual events you will find, just by chance.
 
Data warehouse - Software system, such as Vitalnet, making large complex databases readily available for querying and analysis.
 
dBASE III format - A widely used file format originally for the database software of the same name. Files in dBASE III format may be readily imported into almost any data analysis, graphing, mapping, or other presentation software. Uses dbf extension. Suppressed cells are represented as the number "-1".
 
DIF format - Data interchange format. DIF files are readily imported into spreadsheet software. The DIF format is too complex to explain in this glossary. Has "dif" extension.
 
Denominator - The number on the bottom of a fraction. Population data are often referred to as "denominator data", as they are used as denominators to calculate population-based rates.
 
Export - Produce output that can be read into other computer programs. Vitalnet produces ASCII text (txt), comma-separated-value (csv), HTML (htm), and dBASE III (dbf) files for export.
 
Filter variable - A variable solely used to filter which records are included in the output. For example, for a single table with race rows and sex columns, age is a filter variable.
 
Footer - Last part of a Vitalnet table. Lists less important details of the analysis, such as the date produced, and data sources. Also contains a unique ID to assist in keeping track of analyses.
 
Header - First part of a Vitalnet table. Lists key analysis parameters, such as years analyzed.
 
Import - Read information into a computer program. ASCII text, CSV, TSV, DIF, HTML, and dBASE III files from Vitalnet are easily imported into word processing, spreadsheet, data analysis, mapping, graphing, and other presentation software programs.
 
Least-squares - A standard method for fitting the best straight line to a set of points. Produces a Y-intercept and a slope defining the least-squares line.
 
Median population age - A measure of the overall age of a population. Half the population is younger than the median, half is older. Assuming a population of 100,000 people, 50,000 people would be older than the median age, 50,000 younger.
 
Multiple age groups - One age group for each table row (or column). Example: 0-19, 20-59, 60-99+.
 
Natural Breaks - Method for determining map ranges. Minimizes "squared deviations from class means".
 
NCHS - National Center for Health Statistics. US health statistics agency. Part of the CDC.
 
Percent total population in age group - A population statistic. Useful for assessing the relative age of the population. If the total population is 100,000, and 8,000 are under age 10, the percent of the total population under 10 is 8 percent.
 
Population - The number of people living in an area.
 
Rows - Horizontal lines in a Vitalnet table, such as a row for each race group.
 
Row sort settings - Vitalnet rows may be sorted in ascending or descending order.
 
Set - A combination of one or more things. For example, several areas may be combined into an area set.
 
Single age group - Only one age group (30-49, for example) is selected. A single age group is used for tables that do not have age columns or age rows.
 
Statistic (Main Statistic) - The basic type of numerical result displayed in a table, chart, or map. For example, birth rate, death rate, population, pregnancy rate, etc.
 
Table - A set of results produced by Vitalnet. A table has several parts:
 
  1. Header - lists basic analysis settings
  2. Data section - numerical results
  3. Horizontal bar graphs - graphical representation of the data
  4. Footer - lists other analysis settings
 
Tabular chart - A section of a Vitalnet table. Gives an scaleable graphical representation of the data. May be omitted from the output table.
 
TSV format - Tab-separated-value format. TSV files are readily imported into spreadsheet software. Each output item is separated by a tab from surrounding items, and each output text item is surrounded by "double quotes". A tab-separated-value file has "tsv" extension. Similar to CSV format.
 
Unix - A popular set of computer operating systems. Vitalnet can run on Unix.
 
Windows - Microsoft PC operating systems. Vitalnet runs under any version of Windows.
 
World Wide Web (WWW) - A widely used part of the internet that may be easily accessed with a web browser. Vitalnet runs on the WWW.


Race Categories


California Race Groupings Used
1999 and earlier 2000 and later
Five Groupings:
- American Indian
- Black
- Hispanic
- White
- Asian / Pacific Islander
Seven Groupings:
- American Indian
- Black
- Hispanic
- White
- Asian
- Pacific Islander
- Two or More Races



County Groupings


Health Service Area 1: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity
 
Health Service Area 2: El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba
 
Health Service Area 3: Napa, Solano, Sonoma
 
Health Service Area 4: Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo
 
Health Service Area 5: Alameda, Contra Costa
 
Health Service Area 6: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne
 
Health Service Area 7: Santa Clara
 
Health Service Area 8: Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz
 
Health Service Area 9: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Tulare
 
Health Service Area 10: Santa Barbara, Ventura
 
Health Service Area 11: Los Angeles
 
Health Service Area 12: Inyo, Mono, Riverside, San Bernardino
 
Health Service Area 13: Orange
 
Health Service Area 14: Imperial, San Diego


Statistical Methods


The "Main Statistic" (numerical outcome) is the basic type of number in a Vitalnet table. It is best understood by looking at the examples below.
 
Population - The number of people living in an area.
 
Median Population Age - The age at which half of the population is older, and half younger. For example, a median age of 42.3 indicates that 50% are younger than 42.3 years, 50% older. Median population age is a good indicator of the overall youth or age of the population.
 
Percent Total Population in Age Group - For example, the age group birth-4 is selected, and 7.2% of the population is less than five years old. This statistic may be used to assess trends in population age distribution.


Data Sources and Limitations


VitalWeb Wizard uses data from authoritative sources.

Population data - All California population data were provided by the Department of Finance.


Links to Related Resources


Internet resources related to Population Data:


Whom to Contact


For additional assistance with analyzing and interpreting the data, contact:

Legal Information


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Copyright 1999-2010 - Expert Health Data Programming, Inc; - All rights reserved.
Documentation produced: "Jul 18 2017" - Contact EHDP