Target Setting

During the development of Healthy People 2030, the National Center for Health Statistics developed statistical methods and analytic tools to help with the selection of objective targets. The tools were created to help guide federal subject-matter experts serving on the Healthy People 2030 topic area workgroups with selecting targets for this decade. These experts used data-driven approaches whenever possible, but they also considered subject-matter expertise, public health policies, and agency or national priorities. The target selected for each objective was decided by the federal subject-matter experts, subject to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approval and public comment.

To learn more about the statistical methods and analytical tools used for Healthy People 2030, refer to” Target-Setting Methods in Healthy People 2030,” available from:

For a list and description of the six Healthy People 2030 target-setting methods, see the Healthy People 2030 website.

Target Setting Flowchart

To help ensure additional transparency and consistency in the HP2030 target-setting process, a flowchart was created to assist federal subject-matter experts with selecting the best target-setting method for an objective. The flowchart was designed to ensure that national programs, regulations, policies, or laws are considered when setting targets, and when historical data are available (three or more data points), that a trend analysis is conducted. The flowchart provided recommendations and a systematic thought process for selecting a target, but ultimately the final target-setting method selection was decided by the federal subject-matter experts.

Healthy People 2030 Target Settings Flowchart

Trend Analysis Tool 

The purpose of this tool is to provide candidate targets using a projection based on linear trend analysis.  Specifically, weighted or ordinary least squares is used to fit a trend line based on historical data, resulting in predicted values (these can be used as candidate targets) using up to seven confidence levels. Trend-Analysis-Tool [XLS – 140 KB]

Percent Improvement and Minimal Statistical Significance Tool

The purpose of this tool is to provide up to two candidate targets using the baseline (initial) value only to calculate a percent or percentage point improvement.  If the standard error is available, then an additional candidate target, based on minimal statistical significance, is also provided. Percent-Improvement-and-MSS-Tool [XLS – 39 KB]