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Health Data & Statistics: A Guide

Tips for Finding Information

Information on social determinants of health is everywhere.  Use the following tips to find useful information:

  • Don't reinvent the wheel.  Use existing sources whenever possible.
  • Think about who might need the same data you're trying to find ... and then find them.
  • Consider the source of the data.  Not all information is created equal.
  • Cite the source of any data you do find.
  • Not everything that should be counted, is.
  • You do not need to be a researcher to find and interpret data.
  • Most of what you need is available online for free, but certain items will have a cost attached.

Source;  National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region - Webinar "Health disparities:  You know there's a need -- now prove it!"

Look Local

Good sources of local health data include the following:

  • State
  • County
  • Hospitals and healthcare systems.  Virtually every hospital has done a recent community health assessment, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Other tips:

  • Perform a simple web search, using the name of your state or county plus the words "community health assessment."
  • Check your state or county's website for specific local data.  Once there, type the words "health statistics" into the site's search box.
  • Think beyond the obvious.  Government agencies that do not focus on healthcare may still have useful information, such as statistics on workforce development.



500 Cities Project

CDC 500 Cities Project

The 500 Cities project, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, provides city and census data for chronic chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States.   Currently they offer data on at least one city in every state in the United States.