Demographic Data

Demographic data provide important statistical information regarding populations, including age, race, sex, and more—information that can be applied in many different ways by those working to advance equitable well-being. Demographic data can expose trends, changes, and disparities across communities. Demographic data are used to improve and inform policies that impact communities. Demographic data collected through the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey are used to inform federal, state, local, and tribal policies, providing crucial information about the communities they serve and future policy-making and funding. U.S. Census data has also been used to inform demographic reports such as Mapping America’s Diversity with the 2020 Census, which highlights the growing racial and ethnic diversity across the United States. 


Demographic data are crucial in public health practice because they help to describe communities and the people who live there. They are used to improve public health policy, allocate resources and support, and strategize interventions. For example, Data for Black Lives uses data to create and reform data systems to empower communities of color. “Bad” data—data that are invalid or not representative, as well as lack of data, are threats to equity. Both undercounting and overcounting when collecting demographic data can contribute to inadequate information and growing mistrust toward systems and institutions. Bad data lead to inaccurate information, on which policies and programs often rely. A lack of demographic data can create a vacuum of information (as seen with the COVID-19 pandemic) about vulnerable populations, which can further exacerbate racial and ethnic disparities. On the other hand, presenting disaggregated data may contribute to stigma and present risks to privacy


Adoption of data equity practices, such as enforcing demographic data collection in federal and state data surveillance and collection programs, and disaggregating data where possible to capture racial and ethnic identity, can improve data collection at national and state levels. At local levels, community organizers and policy-makers can utilize demographic data to promote equity-driven data and create transformative systems of change.

Resources & Tools


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Maps and Data
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Screen capture of 'Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Children' webpage
Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Children
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Brought to you by CDC National Center for Health Statistics
Screen capture of Health-Related Surveys for Epidemiologists webpage
Health-Related Surveys for Epidemiologists
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Screen capture of 'Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults' webpage
Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Brought to you by CDC National Center for Health Statistics
First page of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Health in the United States and U.S. Territories: A Pathfinder to Resources
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Health in the United States and U.S. Territories: A Pathfinder to Resources
Resource
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
First page of American Indian and Alaska Native Health in the United States: A Pathfinder to Resources
American Indian and Alaska Native Health in the United States: A Pathfinder to Resources
Resource
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
First page of Asian American Health in the United States and U.S. Territories: A Pathfinder to Resources
Asian American Health in the United States and U.S. Territories: A Pathfinder to Resources
Resource
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
First page of What is a Survey booklet
What is a Survey
Resource - Book
Cover page of Toolkit for Conducting Focus Groups document
Toolkit for Conducting Focus Groups
Resource - Guide/handbook
Cover page of Do No Harm Guide: Crafting Equitable Data Narratives
Do No Harm Guide: Crafting Equitable Data Narratives
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Urban Institute
Screen capture of Local Data for Equitable Communities webpage
Local Data for Equitable Communities
Resource
Brought to you by Urban Institute
Screen capture of Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults, by Detailed Race and Ethnicity webpage
Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Adults, by Detailed Race and Ethnicity
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Brought to you by CDC National Center for Health Statistics
Screen capture of Minority Population Profiles webapge
Minority Population Profiles
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Screen capture of Conducting Successful Virtual Focus Groups webpage
Conducting Successful Virtual Focus Groups
Resource
Brought to you by Child Trends
Cover page of Community-Driven Data and Evaluation Strategies to Transform Power and Place
Community-Driven Data and Evaluation Strategies to Transform Power and Place
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Build Healthy Places Network
Screen capture of Measuring the Racial Identity of Latinos webpage
Measuring the Racial Identity of Latinos
Resource
Brought to you by The Pew Charitable Trusts
First page of A Guide to Conducting Online Focus Groups guide
A Guide to Conducting Online Focus Groups
Resource - Guide/handbook
Brought to you by Vital Strategies
Screenshot of webpage: How A Lack of Data Led to Vaccine Inequity
How a Lack of Data Led to Vaccine Inequity
Resource - Website/webpage
Screen capture of USAFacts webpage
USAFacts
Resource - Website/webpage
Brought to you by USAFacts
First page of Hispanic/Latino Health in the United States: A Pathfinder to Resources
Hispanic/Latino Health in the United States: A Pathfinder to Resources
Resource
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
First page of Black/African American Health in the United States: A Pathfinder to Resources
Black/African American Health in the United States: A Pathfinder to Resources
Resource
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Screen capture of Conducting Surveys webpage
Conducting Surveys
Resource - Website/webpage
First page of Focus Group Tip Sheet document
Focus Group Tip Sheet
Resource - Fact Sheet
Brought to you by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
First page of Guidelines for Conducting a Focus Group document
Guidelines for Conducting a Focus Group
Resource - Guide/handbook
Cover page of Introduction to Conducting Focus Groups document
Introduction to Conducting Focus Groups
Resource - Guide/handbook
Screen capture of Native Data Sovereignty Can Address Data Gaps and Improve Equity blog post
Native Data Sovereignty Can Address Data Gaps and Improve Equity
Resource - Blog
Brought to you by Urban Institute
Published on 06/13/2022
Screen grab of Demographic Data Helps Colorado Lawmakers Assess Potential Disparate Impact of Proposals
Demographic Data Helps Colorado Lawmakers Assess Potential Disparate Impact of Proposals
Resource - Journal Article
Brought to you by The Pew Charitable Trusts
Screen grab of Demographic Notes
Demographic Notes
Resource - Website/webpage
Screen capture of Statistics Every Writer Should Know webpage
Statistics Every Writer Should Know
Resource - Website/webpage
Screen capture of Survey Explorer webpage
Survey Explorer
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Screen capture of Demographics and Population Data webpage
Demographics and Population Data
Resource - Data Bank/repository
Screen capture of Data Chats as an Organizing and Capacity-Building Process webpage
Data Chats as an Organizing and Capacity-Building Process
Resource - Blog
Brought to you by Medium
Screenshot of video photo: Imagine Fox Cities Data Deep Dive: Learn How to Use the Tool
Imagine Fox Cities Data Deep Dive: Learn How to Use the Tool
Resource - Webinar
Brought to you by Imagine Fox Cities
Graphic of rainbow squares fading into white
LGBT Data: Who Is Helping to Fill the Gap?
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 01/19/2017
Screen capture of Quiet Neglect: Algorithmic Bias in Healthcare Is Hurting Older Adults article
Quiet Neglect: Algorithmic Bias in Healthcare Is Hurting Older Adults
Story - Written
Brought to you by Breaking Media, Inc.
Published on 02/04/2024
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Refreshing Data Basics
Story
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 05/30/2023
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Disaggregating Population Health Measures
Story
Published on 10/19/2023
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Using Benchmarks to Explore Population Health Data
Story
Brought to you by IP3
Published on 08/23/2022
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Understanding and Interpreting Population Health Measures
Story - Written
Brought to you by IP3
Published on 11/15/2022
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Foundations for Community Health Data Users
Story - Original
Brought to you by Community Commons
Published on 04/17/2024
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Tracking Trends in Population Health Over Time
Story
Brought to you by IP3
Published on 12/13/2022
Staff Pick!
COVID-19 Demographic and Economic Resources
Census COVID Resource Hub
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Screen grab of 50-State Demographics Data Generator
50-State Demographics Data Generator
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Screen grab of Demographics and Population Data
Demographics and Population Data
Tool - Toolkit/toolbox
Screen capture of Finding and Using Health Statistics webpage
Finding and Using Health Statistics
Tool - Workshop/training
Screen capture of Population Health Information Tool webpage
Population Health Information Tool
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Screenshot of website cover: LGBT Data and Demographics
LGBT Data and Demographics
Tool - Data/mapping Tool
Georgia Statewide Data Explorer
Georgia Statewide Data Explorer
Tool - Data/mapping Tool

 Related Topics


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Data Equity

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Geospatial Data

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Data Granularity

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Monitoring and Surveillance

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Data Visualization

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Administrative Data

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Data Accessibility

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Demographic Data

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Community Health Needs Assessment

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Data Sharing