What is a Core Indicator?

Health indicators, or core indicators, are measures of the health of individuals and their communities. They reflect complex concepts in a concrete, clearly defined way using standardized definitions and methods. The Core Indicators website contains definitions (but not data) for over 120 public health indicators to enhance accurate and standardized reporting of information across public health units in Ontario.

The following key Information is provided for each indicator:
  • Description
  • Specific Indicators 
  • Corresponding Outcome from the Draft Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) 
  • Corresponding Health Indicator from Statistics Canada and CIHI 
  • Data Sources 
  • Survey Questions or ICD Codes (where applicable)
  • Alternative Data Source(s) 
  • Analysis Check List 
  • Method of Calculation 
  • Basic Categories 
  • Indicator Comments 
  • Cross-References to Other Sections 
  • References – Cited References and Other References
  • Changes Made 


The criteria for selecting core indicators are based on the following requirements:
  • Applicable to outcomes and requirements from the Ontario Public Health Standards, including the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol
  • Data generally available and accessible to all or most public health units
  • Indicator has to be useful and meaningful
  • Indicator has to be relevant to health
  • "Core” indicator important to public health
  • Decision by consensus


How to cite Core Indicator/Core Indicator resource webpages (Vancouver)

Association for Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario (APHEO) [Internet]. Toronto: APHEO; c2011. Core indicators for public health in Ontario: preterm birth rate; 2013 Jan 16 [cited YYYY Mon DD]. Available from here.

c2011: current copyright year for APHEO website
2013 Jan 16: date the webpage was last updated/revised

Last Revision:  March 11, 2014