Better Data for Better Health

Health data resources for analysis of the many factors which shape health in communities, and local efforts to achieve better health for all.

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Health data is a powerful tool to help communities better understand the health of their neighborhoods and residents.

The health data sources range from public health and social service agencies to hospitals and insurers, and include multiple types of data at the state, county, city, and neighborhood levels. Across the nation, the growing variety of data sets now being aggregated and shared is providing an increasingly clear picture of health challenges that communities are experiencing, and driving residents, community leaders, policymakers, and advocates to come together to set common goals for improvement.

In connection with programs focused on creating healthier communities, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supports multiple efforts to leverage health data to advance efforts to achieve better health. With partners across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, we are working to expand the potential for data to illuminate health gaps in communities, and areas where action is needed. The more communities take advantage of the many forms of health data now available, the better they can target resources to assure everyone has a fair and just opportunity for health.

Related Content

New Data Provides a Deeper Understanding of Life Expectancy Gaps

September 10, 2018

The first universal measure of health at a neighborhood level reveals life expectancy gaps that may previously have gone unnoticed. RWJF's Don Schwarz blogs about pinpointing disparities in how long people live and driving action to close gaps.

Can Capturing More Detailed Data Advance Health Equity?

August 30, 2018

A PolicyLink report offers recommendations for improving how we collect and report data about racial and ethnic subgroups.

The Cardiff Model: Leveraging Data for Violence Prevention

June 18, 2018

A surgeon from Wales who treats victims of violence devised a model for collecting data and working with law enforcement to predict and curtail violence. This approach is now taking root in the United States.

Rankings Show Differences in Health and Opportunity

March 14, 2018

2018 County Health Rankings show gaps persist not only by place but by race and ethnicity.

New Effort Will Give Researchers Access to Valuable Health Datasets

April 24, 2017

Health Data for Action, a signature RWJF research program, creates opportunities for research teams to use data that can help inform policy and improve systems to improve health.

CDC Foundation and RWJF Launch 500 Cities Project

March 2, 2017

RWJF announces the launch of the 500 Cities project, a first-of-its-kind data analysis for the 500 largest cities in America, and the census tracts within cities, to identify, analyze, and report data for a select number of chronic disease measures.

The 500 Cities Project: New Data for Better Health

February 23, 2017

The CDC and CDC Foundation are providing city and neighborhood level data for 500 of the largest U.S. cities. This groundbreaking project will make it possible to identify emerging health problems and implement effective public health interventions.

The Power of Data for Healthy Communities

Download a print-friendly brief with additional details about how to use the health data resources featured in this collection, and additional resources currently under development.

From Data to Action

What Works for Health

A County Health Rankings' tool helping communities identify what policy and system changes may be the best fit to address local health needs.

Visit the program website

Health Data for Action

An RWJF program to expand access to rich data for research on issues related to population health and and well-being.  

Visit the program website

Media Contacts

Jordan Reese

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-6322

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