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Area Resource File (ARF)


The Population Research Institute (PRI) is currently evaluating the SODAPOP service. The ability to extract a data set containing a subset of variables will not be supported after September 15, 2016.

The data collections in SODAPOP will still be available from the PRI. If you should have concerns about this change to the SODAPOP service or need to access some of the data, contact the PRI's Computational and Spatial Analysis (CSA) core at

Access Restricted. Researchers who wish to download the dataset will be requested to leave their names, institutional affiliation, and contact information.

REGISTRATION: You must complete the registration form in order to access the data.

Description: The Bureau of Health Professions Area Resource File (ARF) is a county-unit database with over 6,000 data elements for each county in the U.S., with the exception of Alaska for which there is a state total, and certain independent cities which have been combined into their appropriate counties. Altogether, there are a total of 3,080 records on the file. The purpose of the ARF is to summarize data from many sources into a single file to facilitate health analysis. The data elements include in part: (1). County descriptor (Name, FIPS, HSA, PSRO, SMSA, SEA, BEA, city size, (P)MSA, Census Contiguous County, shortage area designation, etc., codes). (2). Health Professions data (M.D., D.O., DDS, Veterinarians, Pharmacists, Optometrists, Podiatrists, R.N., L.P.N., and Dental Hygienists). (3). Health Facility data (hospital size, type, utilization, staffing and services; Nursing home data). (4). Population data (size, composition, employment, housing, morbidity, natality, mortality by cause, by sex and race, and by age; crime data). (5). Health Professions Training data (training programs, enrollments, and graduates by type). (6). Expenditure data (Hospital expenditures, Medicare enrollments, and reimbursements, Medicare prevailing charge data). (7). Economic data (Total, per capita, and median income; income distribution, and AFDC recipients). (8). Environment data (Land area, large animal population, elevation, latitude and longitude of population centroid, water hardness index, and climate data).

Download Area Resource File

Data source: CD-ROM

Why access the data through SodaPop: The supplied programs do not include descriptive variable labels (variable name and location in supplied programs, for example, would be f1319198) so we have added descriptive labels for easier identification and use by researchers. Since PRI and/or the University Libraries has purchased this data and has permission to make it available to the Penn State community, this eliminates the need for individuals to purchase cds and makes the data more widely available to more researchers.

Alternate ways to access the data: ARF data on CD may be purchased from the ARF web site, or check with your local library or data center.

R Users -- Code for downloading and working with the ARF in R is available on the Analyze Survey Data for Free website 

Citation: Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions. [Date of release]. Area Resource File (ARF) System. Fairfax, VA: Quality Resource Systems, Inc. See the CD-ROM or ask the Data Archivist for the date of release.