The Power of Data for Healthy Communities

How can data illuminate health gaps and be a powerful tool for change?

Local health data are a powerful tool to help everyone in a community better understand the health of their neighborhoods—and provide a clear picture of the biggest health challenges and opportunities its residents experience.

Local health data can serve as a rallying point and common platform to help residents, community leaders, policymakers, and advocates come together to set common goals for improvement and drive change.

By analyzing data, we can tell a story about a community. Too often, these analyses reveal that not everyone in a community has access to the same opportunities to be healthy. Local health data illuminate where there are gaps, where some people and places are cut off from opportunities to be healthy, and where we can all come together to take action.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports multiple efforts to provide community leaders and residents with local health data, as well as data about the drivers of health at the state, county, city and census tract levels. These data resources allow communities to uncover health challenges, better target resources, and measure progress toward assuring a fair and just opportunity for health.