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Health Disparities


Reducing health disparity among New Jerseyans is an overarching goal of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS). Health disparities are defined as significant differences between one population and another. The Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000 describes these disparities as differences in "the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates." There are several factors that contribute to health disparities. Many different populations are affected by disparities including racial and ethnic minorities, residents of rural areas, women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

Healthy New Jersey

Healthy New Jersey 2010: A Health Agenda for the First Decade of the New Millennium was planned in the late 1990s and released in June, 2001. Following the federal Healthy People 2010 initiative, Healthy NJ 2010 established the elimination of disparities in health outcomes based on race and/or ethnicity as one of its two overarching goals, the other being increasing the quality and length of healthy life. To that end, every objective that is measured based on individuals has data and targets for each race/ethnicity for which data were available at the time the baselines were established in 2000. In many cases, data systems were not collecting data by race/ethnicity or were collecting a limited set of races/ethnicities (e.g., White, Black, and Other). Also, for some objectives, the number of events for a particular racial or ethnic group was too small to calculate a reliable rate. As data collection systems have improved their race and ethnicity data collection and as some racial/ethnic populations have increased in New Jersey, more data have been added to Healthy NJ 2010 as can be seen in the Healthy New Jersey 2010 Update published in May, 2005. The Center for Health Statistics also produced a report specifically addressing health disparities called Healthy New Jersey 2010: Assessing Progress by Race and Ethnicity in July, 2008. Healthy NJ 2010 objectives will continue to be tracked as indicators within the NJSHAD system.

Strategic Plan

In 2007, NJDHSS released its Strategic Plan to Eliminate Health Disparities in New Jersey. The plan set a targeted agenda for the reduction of health disparities among minority populations. One of the goals was to standardize the collection and reporting of race/ethnicity data across the Department, so the Center for Health Statistics was charged with creating coding guidelines for the collection and dissemination of race and ethnicity data by programs within NJDHSS. The resulting guidelines were published in December, 2007, in a document titled Race and Ethnicity Coding Guidelines for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and its Grantees. Consistent with the 1997 OMB-15 directive, it provides a description of the mutually exclusive race and ethnicity categories and also provides guidance on how to collect data on primary language spoken in the home. The Guidelines establish the gold standard by which all NJDHSS race and ethnicity data should be collected and disseminated.

Newest New Jerseyans

The Health of the Newest New Jerseyans: A Resource Guide updates health care providers statewide on the health status and behaviors of New Jersey's growing foreign-born population. The report includes important demographic information and geographic trends related to this population; compares select health outcomes and behaviors of state residents by race/ethnicity and nativity status; and examines the impact of duration of U.S. residence on foreign-born residents' health.

Data addressing Health Disparities in New Jersey

Leading Health Indicators

  • As a group, the Leading Health Indicators from Healthy People 2010 reflect the major health concerns in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century.

Births and Deaths

Chronic Diseases

Data related to race and ethnicity for these conditions are available at their respective websites.

Behavioral Risk Factors

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance includes data related to arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular health, cancer screening, diabetes, diet and exercise, health care access and coverage, immunizations, overweight and obesity, substance use, and more.

Information about Health Disparities in New Jersey

Chronic Diseases

Information related to race and ethnicity for these conditions are available at their respective websites.
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 02 March 2021 21:46:22 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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