Healthy People 2020

Healthy People 2020

In December 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services launched Healthy People 2020, which has four overarching goals:


  • Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death;
  • Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups;
  • Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all; and
  • Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) tracks approximately 1,300 objectives organized into 42 topic areas, each of which represents an important public health area. In addition, HP2020 contains the Leading Health Indicators, a small focused set of 12 topics containing 26 objectives identified to communicate and move action on high-priority health issues.

This decade, HP2020 Progress Reviews have been presented using webinars open to the public to highlight both data and action at the federal, state, and local levels.  The emphasis of these Reviews has been to identify and focus on trends in data and shed light on specific interventions designed to facilitate progress toward the HP2020 targets. Each of the 42 HP2020 topic areas is featured in a webinar once within the decade.

New for this decade, the website now integrates all of the HP2020 objectives and database into a single site. The website was redesigned with a user-centered focus and provides reliable data, information, and tools for action. The website includes regularly updated data for HP2020 objectives, including data details, data sources, and methods.  Additionally, the website includes a searchable online database, interactive tools for tabulating and graphing data, including state-level data tabulation and mapping capability, and a tool to assess health disparities.

Finally, HP2020 includes a Foundation Health Measures section which are used to monitor improvement in population health in the broadest sense.  The Foundation Health Measures address global, cross-cutting summary measures of population health.  Such measures have been a cornerstone of Healthy People for decades because they reflect the impact of actions and interventions implemented to achieve the Healthy People objectives and goals.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is responsible for monitoring the Nation’s progress toward Healthy People 2020 targets using data from about 175 different data sources. NCHS functions in several roles in Healthy People with the primary role of the Statistical Advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the topic area workgroup on health promotion data.  NCHS conducts research and develops methods for measuring progress toward the objectives and overarching goals of Healthy People, as well as health disparities.  NCHS’s methodological and statistical expertise inform the graphical and analytic tools on the website and analytic products such as the Healthy People 2020 Midcourse Review.  NCHS maintains DATA2020, the comprehensive, definitive database and version-of-record for all the Healthy People data. In addition, NCHS provides expertise and technical assistance to national, state, and local health monitoring efforts.


For additional background, latest data, and selected infographics data related to the Leading Health Indicators, see: Leading Health Indicators.

For access to the archived slides from HP2020 Progress Reviews, see:  Healthy People 2020 Progress Review.