Healthy People 2030 includes a wide range of objectives developed by workgroups made up of subject matter experts in specific topics. Most Healthy People objectives measure progress towards a target over time, but some aren’t measurable or have other limitations. 

Read on to learn more about the criteria for core, developmental, and research objectives and how an objective can evolve from one type to another throughout the decade.

Core Objectives

Most Healthy People 2030 objectives are core, or measurable, objectives that are associated with targets for the decade. Core objectives reflect high-priority public health issues and are associated with evidence-based interventions. 

Core objectives have valid, reliable, nationally representative data, including baseline data from no earlier than 2015. If applicable, they have a measure of variability. Data will be provided for core objectives for at least 3 time periods throughout the decade.

Over the course of the decade, we use data sources to track progress toward achieving core objectives, as follows:

  • Baseline only: We don't yet have data beyond the initial baseline data, so we don't know if we've made progress.
  • Target met or exceeded: We've achieved the target we set at the beginning of the decade.
  • Improving: We're making progress toward meeting our target.
  • Little or no detectable change: We haven't made progress or lost ground.
  • Getting worse: We're farther from meeting our target than we were at the beginning of the decade.

Developmental Objectives

Developmental objectives represent high-priority public health issues that are associated with evidence-based interventions but don’t yet have reliable baseline data.

Will developmental objectives become core Healthy People 2030 objectives?

Maybe. To become a core objective, a developmental objective needs reliable data. Over the course of the decade, the Federal Interagency Workgroup (FIW) — an interdisciplinary group of federal experts — will assess all developmental objectives to see if they meet core objective criteria.

The FIW will carefully consider several factors, including the objective’s impact on health and how it relates to existing core objectives, in deciding if it will become core.

Research Objectives

Research objectives represent public health issues with a high health or economic burden or significant disparities between population groups — but they aren't yet associated with evidence-based interventions. 

Research objectives may also be added throughout the decade to address emerging issues.

Will research objectives become core Healthy People 2030 objectives?

Maybe. To become a core objective, a research objective needs reliable baseline data and associated evidence-based interventions. If a research objective evolves to meet these criteria, a Healthy People workgroup may propose to the FIW that it become a core objective.

As with developmental objectives, the FIW will carefully consider several factors, including the research objective’s impact on health and how it relates to existing core objectives, in deciding if it will become core.