National Resources

Health Disparities Research Center

National Resources

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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
AHRQ offers robust data sources that may interest researchers, clinicians, purchasers, policymakers, or consumers. The following page is intended to assist you in understanding these sources and to get you to the data you seek.

AHRQ: 2014 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report Every year since 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports to Congress are mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-129). Beginning with the 2014 reports, findings on health care quality and health care disparities are integrated into a single document. The new National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) highlights the importance of examining quality and disparities together to gain a complete picture of health care. The QDR provides a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The report is based on more than 250 measures of quality and disparities covering a broad array of health care services and settings.

American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Facts & Figures: The ACS tracks cancer occurrence, including the number of deaths, cases, and how long people survive after diagnosis. ACS also tracks data regarding behaviors that influence the risk of developing cancer and the use of screening tests.

American Medical Association (AMA) – Eliminating Health Disparities Resources:  Recent studies have shown that despite the improvements in the overall health of the country, racial and ethnic minorities experience a lower quality of health care—they are less likely to receive routine medical care and face higher rates of morbidity and mortality than nonminorities.  The American Medical Association (AMA) encourages physicians to examine their own practices to ensure equality in medical care.

The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA): The ARDA strives to democratize access to the best data on religion. Founded in 1997 and going online in 1998, the initial archive was targeted at researchers interested in American religion. The targeted audience and the data collection have both greatly expanded since 1998, now including American and international collections and developing features for educators, journalists, religious congregations, and researchers. Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. Currently housed in the Social Science Research Institute, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University, the ARDA is funded by the Lilly Endowment, the John Templeton Foundation, Chapman University and the Pennsylvania State University.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF): Since 1948, the AECF has worked to build better futures for disadvantaged children and their families in the United States. The primary mission of the Foundation is to foster public policies, human service reforms, and community supports that more meet the needs of today's vulnerable children and families.

Dignity Health – Community Need Index (CNI):  A foundational tool for public health planning, this web site lets you draw your community’s CNI map and show where community resources are located.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): CDC works with national cancer organizations, state health agencies, and other key groups to develop, implement, and promote effective strategies for prevention and controlling cancer. Data/statistics and information on health disparities and survivorship, available through this link.

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: The BRFSS is the world’s largest, on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the U.S. yearly since 1984. Currently, data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

  • Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI): The goal of CHSI is to promote an overview of key health indicators for local communities and to encourage dialogue about actions that can be taken to improve a community’s health. The CHSI report contains over 200 measures for each of the 3,141 U.S. counties.
  • Health Disparities in Cancer: CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) monitors trends in cancer incidence and mortality, and identifies which populations are disproportionately affected by the disease.
  • Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL): The HRQOL program in the Division of Adult and Community Health provides expertise and support in population HRQOL and well-being assessment to CDC, states, communities, and other public health partners. The primary responsibilities for the program are to carry out surveillance and dissemination of HRQOL and well-being outcomes in the United States using state and national surveys. The program’s other responsibilities include carrying out epidemiological studies assessing risk factors and health disparities associated with HRQOL and well-being and disseminating these findings, and partnering with the academic community on research development (studies, methodology, data, and sample software syntax) for CDC’s HRQOL and well-being measures. Access data through this link.
  • National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP): CDC’s NCCDPHP is at the forefront of the nation’s efforts to prevent and control chronic diseases. Through this link, you can access statistics as well as state profiles.
  • National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS): The NCHS website is a rich source of information about America’s health. As the Nation’s principal health statistics agency, the NCHS compiles statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve the health of the American people.
  • National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR): Data collected by local cancer registries enable public health professionals to understand and address the cancer burden more effectively. CDC provides support for states and territories to maintain registries that provide high-quality data.
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP): Comprehensive cancer control is a collaborative process through which a community and its partners pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. CDC supports cancer control programs in 50 states, the District of Columbia, seven tribes and tribal organizations, and seven U.S. Associated Pacific Islands/territories.
  • Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE): The Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHE) coordinates CDC's response to White House Executive Orders and HHS health disparity initiatives, monitors and reports on the health status of vulnerable populations and the effectiveness of health protection program, initiates and maintains strategic parnterships with governmental, non-governmental, national and regional organizations to advance science, practice, and workforce for eliminating health disparities, and provides leadership for CDC-wide policies, strategies, action planning and evaluation to eliminate health disparities.
  • Racial & Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH): REACH is a national program that serves as the cornerstone of CDC's efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health. Through REACH, CDC supports grantee partners that establish community-based programs and culturally-appropriate interventions to eliminate health disparities among African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders.

Diversity Data: Through this portal you can create customized reports describing over 100 measures of diversity, opportunity, and quality of life for 362 metropolitan areas.

Food and Drug Administration Consumer Information for Minority Health:

Healthy People 2020: Health People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Learn about Healthy People 2020, access 10-year agenda topics and objectives, get ideas for implementing Healthy People 2020 in local communities, and access data on top 10 causes of death across populations in the U.S. through this link.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF): A leader in health policy and communications, the KFF is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S. as well as the role of the U.S. in global health policy. KFF develops and runs its own research and communications program. It serves as a non-partisan source of facts, information, and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community and the public on topics such as health reform, insurance, uninsured, HIV/AIDS, minority health, and women’s health policy.

  •  Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation – State Health Facts: is a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and is designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data for all 50 states. provides data on more than 700 health topics and is linked to both the Kaiser Family Foundation website ( and Kaiser Health News (
  • Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation - Putting Men's Health Care Disparities On the Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the State Level: This report catalogues disparities in factors that influence health and access to care such as income and education as well as documents the persistence of disparities between white men and men of color.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine - Health and Medicine Division (formerly the Institute of Medicine): In its work around select populations, the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) examines significant health concerns that may affect groups of individuals categorized by common occupation, environment, health condition or characteristics, or a shared exposure to a unique health risk. Of particular note are the HMD’s efforts around racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care.

Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC): The ICC promotes policies, programs, partnerships, and research to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer among racial and ethnic minorities and medically underserved populations in the United States and its associated territories.

The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program: The DHS project is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Since 1984, this project has provided technical assistance to more than 240 surveys in over 85 countries, advancing global understanding of health and population trends in developing countries.

MedlinePlus: MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. The following link will take you to information about health disparities from the National Institutes of Health.

Modern Language Association (MLA) Language Map: The MLA interactive Language Map is intended for use by students, teachers, and anyone interested in learning about the linguistic and cultural composition of the United States. The MLA Language Map uses data from the U.S. Census 2000 to display the locations and numbers of speakers of thirty languages and three groups of less commonly spoken languages in the United States. The census data are based on responses to the question, "Does this person speak a language other than English at home?" The Language Map illustrates the concentration and number of speakers in zip codes and counties.

National Cancer Institute (NCI):

  • Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD): CRCHD initiates, integrates, and engages in collaborative research studies with NCI divisions and NIH Institutes and Centers to promote research and training in cancer health disparities research and to identify new and innovative scientific opportunities to improve cancer outcomes in communities experiencing an excess burden of cancer.

  • NCI: Cancer Health Disparities Portal: This portal provides information from NCI regarding cancer health disparities research, training, and outreach, information related to cancer incidence, mortality, and survival, and articles and other resources about cancer awareness aimed at minority and underserved populations.

  • Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS): HINTS was created to monitor changes in the rapidly evolving field of health communication. The survey data can be used to understand how adults use different communication channels to obtain health information for themselves and their loved ones, and to create more effective health communication strategies across populations. HINTS data are available for public use.

  • Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER): SEER is a premier source for cancer statistics in the United States. The program collects information on incidence, prevalence and survival from specific geographic areas representing 28 percent of the US population and compiles reports on all of these plus cancer mortality for the entire country. The web site is intended for anyone interested in U.S. cancer statistics or cancer surveillance methods.
  •  Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc): The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc) is statistical software designed to generate multiple summary measures to evaluate and monitor health disparities (HD). HD*Calc was created as an extension of SEER*Stat that allows the user to import SEER data or other population-based health data and calculate any of eleven disparity measurements.

National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities:

  • Toolkit for Community Action: Through this toolkit, community members will have the information and resources they need to help engage fellow citizens and local media as they spread the word about health disparities and educate others about the impact disparities have in the lives of individuals and the greater impact on society.

Office of Minority Health, U.S. DHHS – Think Cultural Health (Advancing Health Equity at Every Point of Contact) This site, sponsored by the Office of Minority Health, offers the latest resources and tools to promote cultural and linguistic competency in health care. You may access free and accredited continuing education programs as well as tools to help you provide respectful, understandable and effective services.

Pew Research Center: The Pew Research Center is a non-profit, nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does so by conducting public opinion polling and social science research; by analyzing news coverage; and by holding forums and briefings. It does not take positions on policy issues.

  •  Pew Research Center – Social & Demographic Trends: The Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project studies behaviors and attitudes of Americans in key realms of their lives, including family, community, health, finance, work and leisure. The project explores these topics by combining original public opinion survey research with social, economic and demographic data analysis.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF): The nation’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public’s health. The mission of the RWJF is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Program areas focus on: childhood obesity, health care coverage, human capital, exploring solutions to cutting edge health care, public health, quality/equality of health care, and vulnerable populations.

  •  County Health Rankings: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to develop these rankings, which show us that where we live matters to our health, for each state’s counties.

Rural Health Information Hub: The Rural Health Information Hub, formerly the Rural Assistance Center, is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. They are committed to supporting healthcare and population health in rural communities.

The Commonwealth Fund: The mission of The Commonwealth Fund, established in 1918, is to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults. The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy.

U.S. Census Bureau American FactFinder, 2010 Census Data: This is your source for population, housing, economic, and geographic data.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Minority Health: The Office is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.


Updated: November 29, 2016