We are working to gather raw data for your own analysis and to pinpoint trustworthy outside sources of data, analysis and summaries that you can use in your reporting. Below are data sources that can assist you in covering the social determinants of health.


Children and health

Data visualization tools

Databases, research and statistics


Food insecurity





Maps and mapping tools

Mental health

Minority health

State reports

Substance use

Urban health


Single digits: Black, Hispanic scientists strikingly underrepresented at NCI among senior workforce and grantees 

Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer
Jointly issued by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer (ARN) is an update of rates for new cases and deaths as well as trends for the most common cancers in the U.S. The report provides rates and trends for the most common cancers among adults, children (aged 0-14), and adolescents and young adults or AYAs (aged 15-39). 

The report includes long-term trends (since 2001) and short-term trends with the most recent five years of data (2013-2017 for incidence and 2014-2018 for mortality). 

National Cancer Institute: Disparities
The National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute offers a range of statistics about cancer and race/ethnicity that also enable users to tract trends state-by-state. Part of NCI’s Surveillance Research Program, the site also includes a calculator that can be downloaded to analyze not just disparities and cancer, but other related data.  The NCI data is based on the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

Children and health

2018-2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) Child and Family Health Measures: The Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (DRC), a project of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI), under a cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), announces the release of the combined 2018-2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) Child and Family Health Measures.

Child Trends Databank: Reporters covering youth issues will find a wide range of topline information on social determinants and children via this database by Child Trends, a Maryland-based nonprofit research organization. The group analyzes data and delivers reports on the impact of more than 120 topics.  Journalists can search by topics such as social and emotional learning, poverty, early childhood and food insecurity or by age: pregnancy and birth, infants/young children, adolescents and young adults.

NIH Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study: The National Institutes of Health’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study looks at brain development and child health in the United States. In February 2018, it released data for the first 4,500 of more than the 7,500 children studied to date. The study, which according to NIH is the largest U.S. long-term study of its kind, aims to examine various factors that influence “brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.” Its initial release of baseline data includes information on basic participant demographics, physical and mental health assessments, substance use, culture and environment and neurocognition, among other data points. The data is available through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Data Archive. The study will follow participants for 10 years and seeks to enroll 11,500 children by the end of 2018. The Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health, online at allows users to search for more than 200 child health indicators from national and state findings. Journalists and other researchers can search by topics such as prenatal care, Medicaid, medical homes and autism. Users can also search by U.S. state or region, or even try an interactive query to get started. Part of the Child & Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the site also includes information from specific surveys such as the National Children’s Health Survey and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, among others. Reporters who are not on an immediate deadline can also request a dataset. This federally-run website is a collaboration of 23 U.S. agencies across the government in an effort to centralize data related to child and family well-being. In addition to releasing an annual report summarizing its data, it also lists contacts for federal health researchers who oversee various data sets at each U.S. agency in the forum.

OECD Family Database: This Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development offers this database of information on family and child policies across the OECD countries. It collates data from various national and international databases from the OECD and other groups. The database includes information on 70 indicators in four categories (family structure, work and employmentpublic policies and child outcomes), including parental leave, preschool, family size, child poverty and vaccination rates, among others. OECD also offers a OECD Family Support Calculator, OECD Country Snapshots  and a Child well-being module.

National Center for Children in Poverty: Young Child Risk Calculator: Based at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the National Center for Children in Poverty offers several data tools, including its young child risk calculator. The calculator helps give an idea of the vulnerability a child faces for poor health and over poverty-related issues based on potential risk factors. Other data tools include a policy tracker for all the U.S. states, and a look at family supports.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT Data Book includes data on children’s wellbeing and health in all 50 U.S. states. In 2016, researchers pinned Minnesota as the top state in the nation for overall child wellbeing. Massachusetts captured the No. 2 spot, followed by Iowa and New Hampshire. States at the bottom of the annual report’s ranking for 2016 included Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi. For California-based reporters, this is a powerful database on more than 500 measures of child health and well-being, all of it clearly sourced and mappable by legislative district and often down to the level of county, city, and school district. It’s sponsored by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.

Child Poverty Demographics Wizard allows you to create custom tables of national- and state-level statistics about low-income or poor children with this online tool produced by the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Childhood Lead Poisoning Data, Statistics, and Surveillance: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been collecting information on lead levels in children since April 1995 and offers two related databases, one for state level data and another for counties. Annual lead exposure data is gathered from blood lead tests from the 35 state and local health departments that the CDC funds to gather lead surveillance and included the highest lead level found. Any other data from states that are not funded is voluntary. 

Data visualization tools

Rural Assistance Center Maps: The Rural Assistance Center, in conjunction with the University of Missouri’s Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems, offers scores of U.S. and state-based maps on a range of rural health-related issues. Their maps offer a visual look at healthcare facilities such as rural health centers and critical access hospitals to areas with health provider shortages and a lack of public transportation. The maps can also be customized.

County Health Rankings: New data for 2017. This collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a rich source of data about health at the local level and who is doing what to improve it. Information can be segmented by behavior, clinical care, socioeconomics, and physical environments - showing how and where people live, work and receive care. Track the grantees for story ideas, and dive into data through several links on the site (particularly on this page). Then go even deeper with the data drill-down guide. The site looks at national and local trends regarding mortality and premature death, health related quality of life, as well as factors such as air pollution, smoking rates, obesity and teen births. The data also includes interactive searches and mapping capabilities and the full data set is downloadable. is a user-friendly, Web-based application for making interactive infographics and charts. It includes a spreadsheet for entering and editing data, or you can import XLS, XLSX and CSV files. You can embed infographics in blog posts or news articles, or save them to your computer.

Visualizing Health provides templates to more effectively display health information with graphs, charts, and images. You are free to duplicate, adapt, and modify images (Creative Commons licensing terms require credit and appropriate link to Visualizing Health is a project of the University of Michigan Center for Health Communications Research and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The goal of Community Commons Maps & Data “to make public data accessible for all, with easy-to-understand visualizations such as maps, reports, charts, dashboards and animations.” Registered users can explore and learn from thousands of geographic information systems (GIS) data layers and tables covering communities across the U.S. It’s run by Advancing the Movement and the Institute for People, Place and Possibilities. Supporters include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, Ascension Health, and the YMCA of the USA.

Databases, research and statistics

Population Level Analysis and Community Estimates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its 500 Cities Project, a 2016 initiative to provide city- and neighborhood-level health estimates for a large portion of the nation’s population. The project is being renamed PLACES, and provides Population Level Analysis and Community Estimates to the entire United States to show the prevalence of chronic diseases and the health impacts on underserved communities. PLACES provides data estimates for 27 health measures for four U.S. geographic levels: counties, incorporated and census-designated places, census tracts, and ZIP codes. The chronic disease measures focus on health outcomes, unhealthy behaviors, and prevention practices that have a substantial impact on people’s health.  The CDC says PLACES can be used to:

  • Inform target prevention activities, programs, and policies;

  • Identify emerging health problems and priority health risk behaviors;

  • Identify and understand geographic health-related issues;

  • Establish key health goals; and

  • Identify geographic disparities in health among and within communities to inform strategies that address health equity.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR) maintains comparative effectiveness research database and epic list of resources on comparative effectiveness research. As detailed in its Glossary entry, this type of research takes results from clinical trials as a starting point for seeing what outcomes really look like in the chaotic wilds of human healthcare.

OECD Health at a Glance: The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development's Health at a Glance offers a quick look at how health and health care stacks up in the United States and a host of other countries. It looks at health spending alcohol use, smoking rates, obesity and life expectancy over the years. It also looks at access to care and risk factors, among other key issues. The customizable database also lets journalists look at and compare various factors and geographies.

Atlas of Rural and Small Town America: County-level data for population change overall and by demographic group, includes 60 socioeconomic indicators; ongoing updates.

CDC’s  WONDER database: The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains this comprehensive database on a wide range of public health information. WONDER, which stand for Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research, offers data on a range of topics, from Childhood Lead Poisoning and Asthma and Allergies to MATCH County Health Rankings and Substance Abuse & Mental Health Data. It can also be used to compile data on for various geographic areas, and can be used to look up information on particular subgroups such as by race or gender.  The data is downloadable and can be saved as a map and/or a chart.

CDC's Behavioral Risk Data: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been collecting data on health behavior since 1983. Considered “gold standard of behavioral surveillance,” its Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) tracks nearly 20 areas, including alcohol and tobacco use, colorectal cancer screening, immunization, prostate cancer and women’s health issues. It also looks at fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity levels and obesity/overweight. Users can also look up demographics, health status and chronic health indicators. It offers data for all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories. The data is collected by monthly land and mobile telephone surveys, although the CDC has several projects underway looking at other methods.

Gallup: Well-BeingPolling and analytics company Gallup Inc. offers a glimpse into both U.S. and global wellbeing through its surveys. Its polls intersect health, social issues and business to give journalists data on everything from millennials seeking jobs that boost their wellbeing and on-the-job-satisfaction to standard-of-living, smoking, eating and stress. Gallup’s surveys also look as specific demographics; in additional to millennials, recent polls have also looked at women and the uninsured. It also makes its polling experts available for interviews to discuss the data. (Media contact:

Health Inequality Project: This comprehensive study examines 15 years of data on U.S. life expectancy. Published in 2016 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the findings analyze the nation’s mortality rates by gender, age and year as well as by household income percentile. Researchers at Stanford, MIT and Harvard also pulled city- and county-level data, ranking it by overall life expectancy and by level of change. The site also allows reporters to download their figures and use them with attribution. The 12-member team’s research is funded by Stanford, the Social Security Administration National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. Media contact:

National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) takes an annual look at quality and disparity issues across the United States. Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AHRQ reports each year on related trends in patient care, including “access to care based on race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and residential location.” The reports also offer a wide range of charts related to its findings. 

Childhood Lead Poisoning Data, Statistics, and Surveillance: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been collecting information on lead levels in children since April 1995 and offers two related databases, one for state level data and another for counties. Annual lead exposure data is gathered from blood lead tests from the 35 state and local health departments that the CDC funds to gather lead surveillance and included the highest lead level found. Any other data from states that are not funded is voluntary. 

World Bank: Health Equity Data by WealthThe World Bank offers this database on issues affecting health equality that allows users to search and analyze data on more than 70 health indicators across nearly 250 countries, including the United States and Canada. Searchable topics include “problems in accessing health care” to a variety of family planning and reproductive issues. The available data include vaccinations, infant mortality, smoking, diarrhea and respiratory infections, among other factors. Results are broken down by wealth. Users can search data for recent years or, to make comparisons, go back as far as 1990 to spot trends. 

Census annual report on poverty, income and the uninsured (2014): The U.S. Census Bureau releases annual statistics on U.S. poverty – considered the nation’s official poverty rate – as well as median income. The report, which covers the previous calendar year, also includes the number of people in the United States who do not have health insurance. The 2015 data will be released on Sept. 13, 2016.

Rural Health Research Gateway: Funded by HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the Rural Health Research Gateway provides information on new studies as well as ongoing projects. It also included a list of rural health research centers as well as relevant researchers. The site is hosted by the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health.

WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) generates customized reports of injury-related data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The mapping module draws on seven years of data, the amount needed to produce reliable county-level injury-related death rates, according to the CDC, and it is a powerful tool to explore health disparities.

County Health Rankings: New data for 2015. The data sources and years for each measure are listed on page 10 of the Key Findings report. This collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a rich source of data about health at the local level and who is doing what to improve it. Information can be segmented by behavior, clinical care, socioeconomics, and physical environments - showing how and where people live, work, and receive care. Track the grantees for story ideas, and dive into data through several links on the site (particularly on this page). Then go even deeper with the data drill-down guide. The site looks at national and local trends regarding mortality and premature death, health related quality of life, as well as factors such as air pollution, smoking rates, obesity and teen births.  

RWJF Data Hub allows you to compare and visualize state-level data on social determinants of health, health inquality, costs, insurance status and more, maintained by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Equality Trust is a compendium of data on income inequality in relation to health, welfare & social cohesion in Great Britain. (The trust was founded by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.)

MetroTrends : The Urban Institute provides up-to-date interactive maps, downloadable datasets, and expert commentaries on conditions and trends in U.S. metropolitan regions. The database includes numbers on crime, unemployment, house affordability, earnings and material hardship, immigration and diversity, child well-being, and more. It’s supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Health System Data Center allows you to compare state and local health system performance using a search function or mapping tool. You can create and export custom bar charts and tables.  It’s supported by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation with a mission “to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.”

Pew Research Center conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Reports have examined the racial wealth gap, the rising cost of not going to colllege, and the rise of stay at home mothers. Pew Research does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains statistics and analysis on disability and health disparities. This source offers the most recent government-sourced statistics for the United States pertaining to disability and health disparities; the latest update for the CDC page was August 2018. That page links out to the Disability & Health Data System, which allows users to drill down into state-by-state statistics, offers an automated tool for making comparisons across locations, and includes a webinar user guide for newbies. These are both great resources for including statistics in your coverage of disability-related stories about health or for finding story ideas based on results you turn up in location-by-location comparisons.

Food insecurity

Food insecurity is a growing concern for many people in the United States. Prior to COVID-19, it was estimated that 11% of households in America were food insecure and lacked consistent access to enough food and nutritious options. However, as Americans practice social distancing and quarantine, many are faced with new challenges accessing and affording food. Recent surveys found that nearly 40% of households now report moderate to high levels of food insecurity and 20% of children are experiencing food insecurity. A new Data Insights (May 2020) from The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation explores current and evolving trends in food insecurity as well as opportunities and solutions to improve food security status by identifying those at risk and connecting them with resources. 


The IPCC Climate Report

For data on global health, Duke University maintains an updated site that links to several global databases of information about the social determinants of health, including the CIA factbook, WHO country-by-country profiles and case studies, and a host of other resources.


The American Hospital Association maintains a site where it is aggregating data about the social determinants of health and the role of hospitals in these factors. The site is in progress, with existing, rich information and case studies on transportation, housing and food, with anticipated updates in other areas, such as education.

Incarceration: U.S. and world prisons

The database that Gary Harki and his reporting team found in Texas that lists all deaths that have occurred in jail custody in Texas is available here. As they describe in their “How I Did It” Q&A, the team relied on information from this database as part of building their own information bank about the people with mental health conditions who have died in U.S. jails. They also created a clickable map (in 2018) linking to data and data tables from the handful of other states that provide this kind of information. The interactive database that they built of the 404 people who had died in U.S. jails since 2010 is available here. There is no federal database.


Reporting on prisons is typically a beat for criminal justice reporters, but as more research reveals failures in prison health care systems, the mental health effects of solitary confinement and the abuses of some private, for-profit prisons, it is increasingly becoming a beat for health reporters as well. The measles outbreak in Arizona in the summer of 2016, for example, highlighted low immunization rates and inadequate rules and oversight regarding employee vaccinations. 

One of the best places to start is the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, which has statistics and costs on total correctional population, prison population, jail population, probation population and parole population. All their annual surveys are archived here as well as various reports on recidivism, capital punishment, sexual assault in prison, deaths in custody and related topics.

A wealth of worldwide comparative information is available at the International Centre for Prison Studies, “an online database comprising information on prisons and the use of imprisonment around the world” that has recently merged with the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. They have a 15-page fact sheet full of big-picture states, and their world prison briefs provide contact information for prison systems in every country in the world as well as statistics on overall prison population and rate; juvenile, female, foreign and pre-trial populations and rates; system institutions and capacity; and trends over time. They also have a section on research and publications worth perusing if you’re seeking general information or aren’t sure what you need yet.

report from the U.S. Department of Justice offers a detailed breakdown of prison and parole/probation populations in the U.S. from 2000 through 2014, including a per-state breakdown. A National Academies Press publication provides an overview of causes in the increase in incarceration and recommendations for addressing it (complete report here). For more than 100 of graphic representations of federal, state and historical prison populations, check out the Prison Policy Initiative report on tracking state prison growth. The site offers dozens of other reports as well.

For solitary confinement stats, a very extensive 155-page report from Yale Law School updates numbers for U.S. solitary confinement/isolation (which comes under several euphemistic names); it also includes findings related to demographics, living conditions, duration of time spent in isolation and how that time is spent. A separate Yale study focused on state and federal policies related to isolation, and a report from the Government Accountability Office makes recommendations for improvements to polices within the Bureau of Prisons. A 2014 American Journal of Public Health study investigates self-harm among inmates in isolation, and the ACLU has a special report on female inmates in solitary confinement.

Additional resources are available at the Journalist’s Resource herehere (solitary confinement) and here (father incarceration’s impact on children). Looking for ideas to localize? Check out Frontline’s “Locked Up in America” series.

Maps and mapping tools

The Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool illustrates the relationship in each Appalachian county between overdose deaths and socioeconomic factors, including poverty, unemployment, education, and disability. The tool was designed and developed by the University of Chicago’s NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, the Health Media Collaboratory, and Visualization Laboratory in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), according to the website.

The Washington Post mapped the percentage of individuals with high-risk health conditions relative to the nation’s average for each census tract, along with data on racial demographics, household overcrowding, health insurance coverage and the CDC’s social vulnerability index.  The map includes every census tract in the country.

The data allowed investigative data reporter Aaron Williams and graphics reporter Adrian Blanco to conclude that a majority of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Washington, D.C. are “in some of the city’s densest neighborhoods, which have large majority-minority populations as well as high rates of chronic health conditions," they told the Center for Health Journalism at USC Annenberg. The findings highlight long-standing health disparities which have left disadvantaged communities far more vulnerable during the pandemic.

In July 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention added 11 new indicators on HIV and, for the first time, social determinants of health to its AtlasPlus, an online tool that gives users the ability to create customized tables, maps and charts using 15 years of CDC surveillance data on HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and tuberculosis (TB). The social determinants of health, includes five indicators: poverty, uninsured, less than a high school education and vacant housing nationally and by state and county; percentage of population living in rural areas nationally and by state; and county urbanization level. The link to the tool is here.

The Neighborhood Atlas, launched in June 2018, is an online platform that allows for easily ranking and mapping neighborhoods according to socioeconomic disadvantage. Seeing a neighborhood’s socioeconomic measures, such as income, education, employment and housing quality, may provide clues to the effects of those factors on overall health, and could inform health resources policy and social interventions. 

County Health Rankings: A project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, these maps helps offer a way to visualize a host of health data across the United States county-by-county. RWJF’s maps use community-based data to track everything from walking scores and chronic disease to income, opportunity and food security.

Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America: View 1930s maps drafted by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation in relation to current  maps of inner cities to show the lasting effects of with racist redlining. HOLC maps graded neighborhoods based on environmental problems but also by the presence of low-income families, blacks, and the foreign-born. The Mapping Inequality project was founded by Richard Marciano, professor of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, and Nathan Connolly, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University.

QGIS is a user-friendly, open source geographic information system (GIS) you can use to visualize, manage, edit, analyze data, and compose printable maps. It’s licensed under the GNU General Public License. QGIS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). 

Justice Mapping Center: Use the center’s Justice Atlas to create geographic displays of data on prison admissions, prison releases, parole, and probation from 22 states. Atlas data show, for example, that Pennsylvania taxpayers will spend more than $40 million to imprison residents of neighborhoods in a single ZIP code in Philadelphia, where 38 percent of households have incomes under $25,000. In Shreveport, La., nearly 7 percent of all working-age men living in the neighborhoods of a single ZIP code were sent to prison in 2008. In Austin, Texas, while neighborhoods in three of the city’s 41 ZIP codes are home to only 3.5 percent of the city’s adult population, they receive more than 17 percent of people returning from prison each year.

Health and wealth: Comparing Milwaukee and other metro areas: This incredibly detailed interactive map allows you to track where old hospitals have closed and new ones have opened in cities across the U.S. since 1991. It’s part of a hard-hitting series produced by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exploring the consequences of hospital closures in America’s inner cities.

U.S. Health Map is an interactive mapping tool that lets you analyze stark differences in life expectancy and prevalence of chronic disease at the county level, developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent research center at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Mental health

National Institute of Mental Health Statistics: NIMH compiles data on the prevalence of a wide range of mental illnesses from eating and mood disorders to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia. The data cover adults and children, and includes statistics on suicide. NIHM’s database also covers the financial toll of serious mental illness.

Minority health

CDC’s FastStats on Minority Health: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics offers FastStats on the health for various ethnic and racial groups. The various tables cover leading causes of death, mortality, health status, live births, infant deaths, smoking and health insurance coverage. The data cover American Indians, Asian or Pacific Islanders, Black or African American non-Hispanics, Hispanics or Latinos, Mexican Americans and White non-Hispanics.

National Minority Quality Forum Database: The National Minority Quality Forum publishes a number of data indexes on a range of topics impacting minority health, including cardiovascular disease, childhood obesity, diabetes, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, lead risk and lung cancer as well as an overall national health index. The indexes are funded in part through corporate support, including from companies such as Pfizer and Magellan Diagnostics. It also offers databases on disparities by ZIP code (with approved access). Contact: 202.223.7560, or A project by The Hastings Center, offers a searchable database on undocumented immigrants on their access to health care via journal articles, reports and news articles. It also offers a “quick guide” of data and resources on undocumented immigrant patients at the national, state and county-level.

The National LGBT Health Education Center: This federally-supported health center focuses on improving the health of LGBT populations, in large part through community health centers. Its website offers access to numerous publications, including journal articles and other handouts, as well as suggested resources. The center is run by The Fenway Institute and, according to its website, is “one of the world’s largest LGBT-focused health centers.”

The NIH's Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) has published the fourth edition of the Women of Color Health Data Book. This data book includes information and statistics on causes of death, behavior, lifestyles, health insurance, and other data on morbidity and mortality for U.S. women of color. ORWH offers the data book as part of the Women of Color Health Information Collection, which also features downloadable documents (pdf format) on breast cancer, HIV and AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus.

The ACA requires federal health data collection and analysis, including demographic data aimed at better understanding disparities. The HHS Office of Minority Health has detailed reports on five racial and ethnic groups.

State reports

Affiliated with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) is a multidisciplinary health policy research center with a focus on state policy. The staff's expertise ranges from economics, statistics and evaluation to sociology and journalism. It values the importance of using sound data to inform policy decisions and strives to produce rigorous, policy-driven analyses. Some things you'll find:

  • State and federal health policy and health reform

  • Health insurance exchanges

  • Payment and delivery system reform

  • Medicaid

  • Health systems

  • Barriers to coverage and access

  • Population health

  • Analyses of health care at the state level that go beyond standard indicators of health insurance coverage.

U.S. State Health Equity Reports: The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) offers a look at some states’ reports highlighting health equity. The reports, produced by state public health departments, include data on local health disparities as well as other tools and resources.  Although so far, just eight out of 50 states are listed, it shows some states are and could prove a launching point to press other states for similar data. The state reports offered so far are for: Alabama, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah Vermont and Virginia.

Substance use

Monitoring the Future: This national survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) tracks drug, alcohol, and cigarette use among U.S. students from 1975 to the present. The survey, conducted by the University of Michigan, includes trends among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students’ use of various substances, including steroids painkillers/heroin, prescription medicines and marijuana (including synthetics). It also offers results for full-time college students and similarly-aged young adults who are not in college. Several infographics also highlight various findings. 

Urban health

World Health Organization on Urban Health: The WHO’s Global Health Observatory offers key data on urban health worldwide, from urban population growth and mortality to living conditions and health risk factors. There also are interactive graphs and a gallery of useful maps.


The Office of Health Equity (OHE) was established in 2012. On its website, you'll find data on the top 50 diagnosed conditions amongs veterans, comparative rates of health conditions and data on Hepatitis C among veterans.