500 Cities Project: Local Data for Better Health
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The 500 Cities Project is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC Foundation. The 500 Cities project aims to provide city- and census tract-level small area estimates for chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States. Small area estimates allow cities and local health departments to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health-related variables and to plan for public health interventions.
Purpose of the 500 Cities Project
- The 500 Cities project aims to identify, analyze, and report city and census tract-level data for 27 chronic disease measures. Small area estimates are used to calculate the data for America’s 500 largest cities.
- This project is a first-of-its-kind data analysis. The 500 Cities data complements existing surveillance data and is designed to help communities better understand the health issues affecting their residents.
- These high-quality, small-area epidemiological data can be used by individual cities and groups of cities to aid in the development and implementation of effective and targeted prevention programs. They can also be used to help identify emerging health problems and monitor health-related interventions. For example, city planners and elected officials can use the 500 Cities data to target neighborhoods where health issues, like hypertension, are at their highest.
- The project covers the largest 497 American cities and the largest cities in Vermont (Burlington), West Virginia (Charleston), and Wyoming (Cheyenne) to ensure that each state has at least one city represented.
Fun Stats about the Cities
- Many states only have one city represented (i.e. – Rapid City, South Dakota). California has 121 cities represented.
- The smallest city represented is Burlington, Vermont with a population of 42,417. The largest city represented is New York City, New York with a population of 8,175,133.
- Among the 500 cities, there are approximately 28,000 census tracts. The smallest census tract has less than 50 persons living within its boundaries. The largest census tract has 28,960 persons.
- The smallest census tract included is less than 1 square mile. The largest is more than 642 square miles.