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Healthy People 2020 Database


Healthy People 2020 tracks approximately 1,200 objectives organized into 42 topic areas, each of which represents an important public health area. At the Healthy People 2020 launch, over 900 objectives were measurable with baseline data and established targets. A few objectives that had achieved high levels of success are being tracked without a target for informational purposes. Targets for these informational objectives will be set during the decade if warranted. The remaining 200+ objectives did not have baseline data and are considered developmental. As data sources are identified and baseline data become available, developmental objectives will be moved to measurable status.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics
Data Years Available: 
Mode of Collection: 
Abstraction of data from records, census (no sampling)
Selected Content: 
Each measurable objective contains a data source and a national baseline value. The baselines use valid and reliable data derived from currently established, generally nationally representative data systems. Baseline data provide the point from which a 2020 target is set (unless the objective is informational). For each measurable objective, technical specifications describe the methodology for assessing progress. The technical specifications define the measure and include information about the data source, baseline details (numerator, denominator, and questions used to collect the data), target, target-setting method, and other relevant items. If, over time, changes are made to the data or any of the components related to assessing progress, the data and/or technical specification will be updated to reflect the revisions. Data used to track the Healthy People 2020 objectives are based on events occurring in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, whenever possible. Unless specifically noted, all objectives exclude data for U.S. territories. The data used to track most population-based Healthy People 2020 objectives are derived from either a national census of events (for example, the National Vital Statistics System) or from nationally representative sample surveys (for example, the National Health Interview Survey).
Population Covered: 
Healthy People 2020 objectives

Follow up data are added to the Healthy People 2020 Database on an ongoing basis as data points become available.

Response Rates and Sample Size: 

As of March 5, 2014, there were 998 measureable objectives and 237 developmental objectives for a total of 1,235 objectives.

Interpretation Issues: 

For some objectives, complete national data are not available and data for selected States and/or areas are used to monitor the objectives. In these cases, the coverage area is described within the data table for the objective and in the technical specifications. Examples of such data systems include the Health Care Cost and Utilization Project and the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System. If during the decade, national data sources to track these objectives become available, these new sources will replace the subnational sources.
Some national data systems cover the entire United States, but are not designed to provide national estimates, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. In addition, data may not be available for some variables for all States. This is either because data for a specific variable are not collected by some States or because the quality of data for some States is not sufficient to produce reliable estimates for some variables. The number of reporting States can vary from year to year. This information is also shown in the technical specifications for selected objectives.