The PLACES database is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC Foundation. The database was created with the intent to allow local health departments to obtain the burden and geographic distribution of health measures in their area. This resource is particularly useful for smaller, rural communities who are seeking assistance in developing public health interventions. Health measures included in PLACES fall under four categories: health outcomes, prevention, health risk behaviors, and health status. The PLACES database provides health indicator data to all counties, places (incorporated and census designated places), census tracts, and Zip Code Tabulations Areas (ZCTAs) in the United States.  

The PLACES website is a public, interactive resource. Users can view and download data by county, place, census tract, and ZCTA. PLACES is unique in that it’s the only resources that enables retrieval and exploration of defined local area data in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. for conditions, behaviors, and risk factors that significantly impact population health.  

Key PLACES Tools: 

New PLACES data was released in December 2022. The new data includes estimates for 29 chronic disease related indicators at county, place, census tract, and ZCTA levels. The new release also included enhancements to the PLACES database: a data dictionary added to the data portal and new how-to videos added to the help section. These new releases are now available to be viewed and downloaded on the PLACES website along with other resources.  


Author: Emily Bell, Intern, GHEA