It is known that persons' longevity is affected by the environmental and population characteristics of their community. Studies that identify community-level characteristics associated with the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of residents could help guide local health planning. Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 1993-1997 indicate that HRQOL differs among U.S. counties according to county population size. In addition, socioeconomic and health status indicators, such as poverty, noncompletion of high school, unemployment, number of persons with severe work disabilities, mortality, and births to adolescents, also might affect county-level HRQOL differences. This report examines initial findings on the relation between selected community health status indicators (CHSIs) and the mean number of days that persons aged > or =18 years reported ill health (i.e., unhealthy days), a surveillance measure of population HRQOL. The findings suggest that CHSIs may be useful in the public health planning process.