The Healthy Places Index is a project of the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, a coalition of the executive leadership of 10 local health departments in Southern California, representing more than 60% of the state’s population
The Public Health Alliance team developed the HPI. More information on team members can be
The Public Health Alliance’s core team of expert data and technical staff received guidance from a large advisory committee comprised of epidemiologists and public health experts from across California.
The HPI is being used by local, regional, and state government agencies, as well as community groups across the state. The organizations listed below have used HPI successfully in their own work and endorse the tool for wider use.
The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Office of Health Equity has endorsed HPI as a tool to support decision-making related to grants or other programs that prioritize funding based on health outcomes and health benefits.
Local health jurisdictions around the state have used HPI to direct investments, conduct plans and assessments, develop guidance, and undertake research examining health inequities
Regional and state transportation agencies have used HPI to identify and prioritize communities for investments in walking, bicycling and other health-promoting infrastructure.
State agencies across sectors have incorporated HPI into their planning and guidance documents as a tool to advance health equity and racial justice.
Health systems have used HPI to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments, integrate social drivers of health data into their decisionmaking, and allocate resources as part of community investment strategies.
Community-based organizations are using HPI data to apply for grants, prioritize resources, and identify policies that would most improve health in their communities
Academic institutions are using HPI as part of their research projects on issues such as COVID-19, nutrition, water, air pollution, and climate change.
Originally launched in 2018 by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California (Alliance), the Healthy Places Index (HPI) is a powerful and easy-to-use data and policy platform created to advance health equity through open and accessible data.
The main goal of the HPI is to advance health equity through open data. We provide community leaders, policymakers, academics and other stakeholders with the tools they need to identify inequity, prioritize equitable investment and strengthen community voices with sound validated data.
Now in its third release, the HPI has become a go-to data tool for hundreds of state and local government agencies, foundations, advocacy groups, hospitals and other organizations that want to apply a health equity lens to their work.
Prior to the Healthy Places Index, everyone from public health department staff to community advocates could not systematically and easily find reliable data about the conditions that most impact the health of our neighborhoods — the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age.
Where we live and our racial and ethnic backgrounds are strongly tied to measures of well-being and life expectancy — even more so than genetics. Decades of research have demonstrated how health outcomes are strongly tied to neighborhood environments and community conditions, which are, in turn, strongly linked to race. However, conditions that support health — access to education, good job opportunities, and healthy food and water — vary drastically by neighborhood.
Responding to this need, the Public Health Alliance of Southern California brought together experts from a wide variety of fields to develop an open health equity data platform that shows the link between race and place. We achieved this by analyzing 23 social indicators of health — all positively associated with life expectancy at birth — from multiple peer-reviewed sources to create an index visualized through a mapping tool. HPI was created in partnership with our map developer Axis Maps.
Feedback from practitioners across sectors has allowed us to continue delivering high-quality data as well as more efficient features, so we can do our best work in less time. We are able to keep evolving the platform and advancing toward health equity when we hear your ideas, feedback, and questions on how we can continue improving.