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  • Social Determinants of Health Main Banner
  • Sources for Data on Social Determinants of Health Banner
  • Tools for Putting Social Determinants of Health into Action Banner
  • CDC Programs Addressing Social Determinants of Health Banner
  • Policy Options to Impact Social Determinants of Health Banner
  • Spotlight for New Resources Addressing Social Determinants of Health Banner

Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.1 These conditions are known as social determinants of health (SDOH).

We know that poverty limits access to healthy foods and safe neighborhoods and that more education is a predictor of better health.2,3,4 We also know that differences in health are striking in communities with poor SDOH such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education.5,6 By applying what we know about SDOH, we can not only improve individual and population health but also advance health equity.7,8 Healthy People 2020 highlights the importance of addressing SDOH by including “create social and physical environments that promote good health for all” as one of the four overarching goals for the decade. (See FAQs for reference materials .)

This website provides CDC resources for SDOH data, tools for action, programs, and policy. They may be used by people in public health, community organizations, and health care systems to assess SDOH and improve community well-being.

Spotlight: Community-based and Participatory Strategies to Reduce Disparities: Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)

Reach and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Icon

Since 1999, the REACH program has used tailored, community-based and participatory approaches to reduce disparities and improve health among racial and ethnic populations experiencing high burdens of chronic disease. The 49 REACH awardees plan and carry out local, culturally-appropriate programs to reduce smoking, increase physical activity and good nutrition, and reduce the complications associated with chronic diseases. Examples of strategies include: protecting people from secondhand smoke exposure and giving low-income smokers access to reduced-cost, evidence-based cessation treatments; and increasing physical activity opportunities by working with partners to decrease out-of-pocket costs for using community recreation facilities.

Learn more about REACH programs and awardee activities with this Fact Sheet.