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About the Data

Healthy People 2020 identifies nearly 600 objectives with 1,200 measures to improve the health of all Americans. To determine the success of Healthy People, it is important to track and measure progress over time. Healthy People relies on data sources derived from:

  • A national census of events (like the National Vital Statistics System)
  • Nationally representative sample surveys (like the National Health Interview Survey)

Health Indicators Warehouse

You can search the Health Indicators Warehouse for data related to Healthy People 2020 objectives.

  1. Go to
  2. In the search box, type in the objective number you want to find (e.g., HDS-16). To find objective numbers, select the topic area you are interested in from this list, and view the objectives tab.
  3. Press the enter key
  4. Select the objective or topic from the search results
Health Indicators Warehouse

Or view all indicators related to Healthy People 2020.

Measurable and Developmental Objectives

Healthy People 2020 includes 2 types of objectives: measurable and developmental.

Each measurable objective contains a data source and a national baseline value. The baselines use valid and reliable data derived from currently established and, where possible, nationally representative data systems. Baseline data provide the point from which a 2020 target is set.

Developmental objectives currently do not have national baseline data and, therefore, have abbreviated or no operational definitions. However, all developmental objectives included in Healthy People 2020 should have a confirmed nationally representative data source that will ultimately provide baseline data and at least 1 tracking point. Developmental objectives indicate areas that need to be placed on the national agenda for data collection. They address subjects of sufficient national importance that investments should be made over the next decade to measure their change.

For some objectives, complete national data are not available. In these cases, data for selected States and/or areas are used to monitor the objectives. The coverage area is described with the data for the objective and in the operational definitions. If national data become available during the decade, they will be used to track the objectives. Unless specifically noted, all objectives exclude data for U.S. Territories.

Questions about the Healthy People data?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact the data team at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) by email at if you still have questions like:

  • Where did it come from?
  • How is it calculated?
  • Where are the operational definitions?
  • What are the target setting methods?

All other questions (including those related to citations) should be directed to