Healthy People 2020

In December 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services launched Healthy People 2020External Web Site Icon, which has four overarching goals:

  • Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death;
  • Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups;
  • Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all; and
  • Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

Leading Health Indicators

Healthy People 2020 provides a comprehensive set of 10-year, national goals and objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 contains 42 topic areas with nearly 600 objectives (with others still evolving), which encompass 1,200 measures.  A smaller set of Healthy People 2020 objectives, called Leading Health Indicators, has been selected to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them.  Oral Health has been identified (for the first time) by the Department of Health and Human Services as a Leading Health Indicator.  

Great strides have been made over the past decade: life expectancy at birth increased; rates of death from coronary heart disease and stroke decreased. Nonetheless, public health challenges remain, and significant health disparities persist.

The Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators place renewed emphasis on overcoming these challenges as we track progress over the course of the decade. The indicators will be used to assess the health of the Nation, facilitate collaboration across sectors, and motivate action at the national, State, and community levels to improve the health of the U.S. population.

Healthy People 2020 also includes a new Foundation section which addresses several important health topics:  General Health StatusExternal Web Site Icon, Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-BeingExternal Web Site Icon, Determinants of HealthExternal Web Site Icon, and DisparitiesExternal Web Site Icon