Healthy People 2030 Questions & Answers

What is Healthy People 2030?

Healthy People 2030 is the nation’s 10-year plan for addressing our most critical public health priorities and challenges.  

In 1980, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the first set of Healthy People 10-year objectives. Healthy People 2030 is the fifth iteration of the Healthy People initiative.

Healthy People helps individuals, organizations, and communities committed to improving health and well-being address public health priorities. Healthy People 2030 includes hundreds of measurable objectives with ambitious but achievable national targets. Objectives are associated with a variety of resources that can be used to help achieve these targets.  

How was Healthy People 2030 developed?

Healthy People 2030 was created with the successes and lessons learned from previous iterations of the Healthy People initiative in mind. Subject matter experts across several disciplines developed the Healthy People 2030 framework and objectives, and stakeholders from several sectors provided their input through public comments on the new objectives and framework for Healthy People. The Healthy People 2030 framework outlines the vision, mission, foundational principles, plan of action, and overarching goals of the initiative’s current iteration. Check out the Healthy People 2030 framework.

Who developed Healthy People 2030?

The HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion manages Healthy People and led the development of Healthy People 2030. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides statistical expertise for Healthy People’s data.

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030, a federal advisory committee composed of nationally and internationally recognized non-federal subject matter experts, provided recommendations on the framework, objective and data selection criteria, and more. Learn more about the Secretary’s Advisory Committee.

The Healthy People Federal Interagency Workgroup (FIW) — along with individual workgroups of federal subject matter experts representing more than 20 federal agencies — developed the Healthy People 2030 objectives and selected targets and will help review data and resources associated with the objectives throughout the decade. Learn about the Healthy People 2030 workgroups.

Stakeholders, organizations, and members of the public contributed to Healthy People 2030’s development via multiple public comment periods.

How can I use Healthy People 2030 in my work?

Healthy People 2030 has many different types of resources that can support your work. Check out our How to Use Healthy People 2030 graphic to get tips your community, state, or organization can use to achieve your goals, improve health and well-being, and contribute to national public health goals. You can also use our promotional toolkit to help spread the word about Healthy People 2030 to your networks.

How do I find Healthy People 2030 objectives and data related to my interests?

Use Healthy People 2030’s search tool to easily find information relevant to your work. You can filter information based on your interests to find topics, objectives with baseline data and targets, and evidence-based resources. In addition, you can use our new Custom List tool to build a list of objectives that are relevant to your work — and track them over the decade. 

Additional data and resources are coming soon — check out our timeline for more information

What are the different types of Healthy People 2030 objectives?

Healthy People 2030 includes 3 types of objectives:

  • 359 core, or measurable, objectives, which are associated with targets for the decade and evidence-based resources and have valid, reliable, nationally representative data
  • 111 developmental objectives, which are associated with evidence-based interventions but don’t yet have reliable baseline data
  • 40 research objectives, which aren’t associated with evidence-based interventions

Some developmental and research objectives may evolve throughout the decade to become core objectives. Learn more about the Healthy People 2030 objectives.

How do Healthy People 2030 objectives compare to the objectives from 2020?

In response to stakeholder feedback and user surveys, we reduced the total number of measurable objectives from over 1,000 for Healthy People 2020 to 359 for Healthy People 2030. Objectives were chosen using rigorous selection criteria recommended by the Secretary’s Advisory Committee and made available for public comment. As a result, the objectives focus on the country’s highest-priority public health issues, avoid overlap, and use higher data standards than previous decades. 

On the Healthy People 2030 website, the objectives are organized into more intuitive topics — and we developed a tool to help you see which Healthy People 2020 objectives have been modified, removed, or retained for Healthy People 2030.

What else has changed since Healthy People 2020?

A new decade means new opportunities to improve health and well-being across the nation. This decade, Healthy People 2030 features a smaller set of objectives with: 

  • More rigorous data standards
  • New objectives related to e-cigarettes, flavored tobacco use in adolescents, and opioid use disorder
  • Resources for adapting Healthy People to emerging health issues like COVID-19

For the first time, Healthy People 2030 also sets 10-year targets for objectives related to social determinants of health. And we’ve updated our health literacy definition for the first time in 20 years to emphasize how both individuals and organizations can help improve health literacy. 

In addition, Healthy People 2030 features 8 Overall Health and Well-Being Measures (OHMs). Called Foundation Health Measures in Healthy People 2020, the Healthy People 2030 OHMs include a new measure on well-being.

Healthy People 2030 also features 23 Leading Health Indicators (LHIs). LHIs are a small subset of high-priority core objectives that highlight critical public health issues across different life stages. Together, LHIs and OHMs will help individuals, organizations, and communities committed to improving health and well-being set priorities, track nationwide progress toward improving health and well-being, and assess progress toward achieving Healthy People 2030’s vision.  

We also have an improved website, with an application programming interface (API) to support faster data deployment, a tool for building custom lists of objectives, a more sophisticated search tool, and more intuitive navigation. 

How does Healthy People 2030 define health disparities and health equity?

The definitions of health disparities and health equity haven’t changed since Healthy People 2020.  

Healthy People defines health equity as “the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.” 

Healthy People defines a health disparity as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.” 

Learn more about Healthy People’s health equity and health disparities definitions.  

How does Healthy People 2030 address health disparities and health equity?

Health disparities and health equity have been an important focus of Healthy People for over 30 years. Similar to Healthy People 2020, one of Healthy People 2030’s overarching goals is to “eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all.” To help stakeholders work toward this goal, Healthy People: 

  • Provides data monitoring tools 
  • Highlights evidence-based resources and practices 
  • Promotes multisector collaboration  

Each decade, Healthy People tracks progress toward meeting the national disease prevention and health promotion goals and objectives, and it monitors differences across population subgroups. Healthy People data tools summarize and display changes in health disparities to help identify priority populations.  

Healthy People 2030 also features evidence-based resources focused on strategies that are proven to improve health. These resources include interventions to address public health issues among specific population groups and improve the health of all people.  

In addition, Healthy People collects stories that highlight how states, communities, and organizations address health disparities, advance health equity, and improve health by: 

  • Using evidence-based interventions and strategies 
  • Evaluating interventions 
  • Forming multisector collaborations   

Read the facts and watch a video about how Healthy People 2030 promotes health equity. 

How does Healthy People 2030 address social determinants of health?

We brought national attention to social determinants of health (SDOH) when we incorporated them into the Healthy People 2020 prevention framework. Since then, the impact of social determinants has become even more clear — the fact is, the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age significantly influence their health. That’s why Healthy People 2030 continues to focus on SDOH. 

More than a dozen workgroups of subject matter experts with diverse backgrounds worked to develop a range of Healthy People 2030 objectives related to SDOH. For the first time in the initiative’s history, the Healthy People 2030 SDOH objectives also have 10-year targets. (In Healthy People 2020, the SDOH objectives were informational, meaning there was no set target.)    

In addition to objectives, the Healthy People definition for SDOH was adopted in early 2020 as the official HHS definition, meaning that all HHS agencies will approach SDOH using the Healthy People framework. Learn more about Healthy People 2030's focus on SDOH.  

Healthy People SDOH literature summaries provide a snapshot of the latest research on SDOH. These summaries explore a range of key SDOH — such as discrimination, social cohesion, access to health services, and poverty — and examine how these issues can impact health outcomes and health disparities. Explore Healthy People 2030's SDOH literature summaries and find infographics on key SDOH

How were health disparities and health equity incorporated into the selection process for Healthy People 2030 objectives and Leading Health Indicators?

HHS considered health equity and health disparities throughout the Healthy People 2030 objective development process. To select core objectives, subject matter experts applied specific criteria, including considering how each objective would address health disparities and advance health equity. In addition, the selection criteria for Healthy People 2030 Leading Health Indicators — a subset of high-priority core objectives — required that the indicators address social determinants of health, health disparities, and health equity.

Are there any additional features coming in the future?

Yes! More tools and resources — like disparities data, evidence-based resources, and state-based resources — will be released throughout the decade. Check out our timeline to see when you can expect them.

And be sure to visit the Healthy People 2020 website and check out “Healthy People 2020: An End of Decade Snapshot” to find data from the last decade of Healthy People and read about progress made over the decade.

Please stay tuned for updates and additions to Healthy People 2030!