The Vermont State Health Assessment is an overview of what we know about the health of people in Vermont at a point in time. The Assessment is an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data that examines health inequities by race and ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status and geography. The Assessment is conducted every five years.

Results of the State Health Assessment are used to develop the State Health Improvement Plan. The Plan outlines how the Department of Health and other state and community partners will prioritize efforts to promote health and equity in Vermont over a five-year period.  It is a way for different sectors and organizations to coordinate on key issues to improve the lives of people in Vermont.

SHA (Assessment) = State Health Assessment = what do we know?
SHIP (Plan) = State Health Improvement Plan = what are we going to do about it?

The Assessment takes data from around the state and presents it in a way that summarizes the main health issues facing Vermonters. The Plan takes that information and narrows it down to 3-5 priorities that the state will focus on for the next five years.

2024 State Health Assessment

The 2024 Assessment began with a review of publicly available data about the health and well-being of the entire state and populations experiencing disproportionate health inequities. This data was used to inform conversations with community partners and individuals with lived expertise to better understand the strengths, needs, and experiences of people in Vermont.  

Findings from the State Health Assessment can be found below in two formats:

  1. Two-page data briefs by population. These include both quantitative and qualitative data.
  2. Detailed presentations by population and health need. These are entirely qualitative data, reflecting the voices of Vermonters from focus groups and interviews. 

Data Briefs by Population

Indigenous People

Older Vermonters

People of color

People with disabilities

People who are unhoused

People who identify as LGBTQ+


Detailed Presentations by Population and Health Need 


Indigenous People 

Immigrants and Refugees

Older Vermonters 

People of color

People with disabilities

People who are unhoused

People who identify as LGBTQ+


Health Need

Access to Care

Climate Change

Cost of Living



Mental Health and Substance Use

Specific Health Conditions 

How to use the data

Please use this data freely! We hope that it is useful for our partners in your efforts to improve health and well-being. You can use this data to:

  • Elevate the voices of people with lived experience to provide context to quantitative data. 
  • Understand the factors that impact health and well-being.
  • Identify solutions to address some of the most important health needs facing people in Vermont.
  • Inform planning and decision-making for your organization or community.
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration with other organizations or sectors. 
2018 State Health Assessment

The last State Health Assessment was completed in 2018. We thank the many organizations and people who participated in the public engagement process and responded to drafts during the public comment period. Their voices and stories informed and enriched this assessment.

Read the full Vermont State Health Assessment 2018 – or select chapters by subject below:


1 State Health Assessment Introduction: Focus on Health Equity

To better understand the root cause of health outcomes and differences in health among us, this State Health Assessment 2018 is focused on the concept of health equity. Health equity exists when all people have a fair and just opportunity to be healthy – especially those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage, historical injustice, and other systemic inequalities that are often associated with the social categories of race, gender, ethnicity, social position, sexual orientation, and disability. This section describes our vision for health equity, the public health system in Vermont, and offers readers a guide to the the data and methods used for this assessment.

2 Key Demographics and Fundamental Health Statistics

This section presents key demographic trends in Vermont (population density, age projections, race and ethnicity, income and educational attainment) and fundamental health statistics (birth and fertility, infant mortality, life expectancy and quality of life, leading causes of hospitalization and death, and years of potential life lost).

3 Populations in Focus

Some of us have more opportunities than others to enjoy good health and quality of life. Vermonters who are white and heterosexual, do not have a disability, live in urban or suburban areas, or are of middle or upper class generally have better health compared to other Vermonters. This section takes a closer look at the health status of people of color, those who are LGBTQ, those who are living with disabilities, or are of lower socioeconomic status.

4 Child and Family Health

The health and wellness of children and families is a foundation for the health of all Vermonters. This section covers family planning and pregnancy, the health of infants to age 6, and the health of students age 7 to 17.

5 Chronic Disease

Regular physical activity and good nutrition are behaviors that protect against overweight and obesity, plus a number of other chronic conditions. This section covers protective factors, risk behaviors (tobacco, alcohol and drug use), mental health, morbidity (obesity, cancer, lung disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and arthritis), and mortality associated with chronic conditions.

6 Injuries

Injuries are not simply random acts of fate or the result of individual carelessness, but events to understand and prevent. This section covers emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths from injuries of all causes, unintentional injuries (such as falls, motor vehicle crashes, poisoning) and intentional injuries (suicide, firearms, intimate partner violence).

7 Environmental Health

The food we eat, the air we breathe, the products we use, and the environments in which we live, work, learn and play affect our health and quality of life. This section covers environmental monitoring for health, consumer health, and climate and health.

8 Infectious Disease

The incidence of infectious disease in Vermont is less common than chronic disease. Still, we must keep a close watch as new risks emerge due to drug resistance, novel infections and zoonotic agents. This section covers sexually transmitted diseases, immunization, tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases, and other communicable conditions.

9 Access to Care

Equitable access to health care means that quality and comprehensive health services are equally available, affordable, coordinated, culturally appropriate and offered with respect to all. As our partners stated: "Access to health care should not be a privilege." This section covers primary care and oral health care, treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and hospitals and health clinics.

X Methodology and Data Sources

This assessment employs methods from a variety of fields. This section describes how we chose the data to present, its reliability and validity, methodology of statistical analysis and data interpretation, along with a list of the state and national data sources used, and the organizations that participated in the state health assessment engagement process.



2019-2023 State Health Improvement Plan

The strategic approach of the State Health Improvement Plan 2019-2023 is built on data in the State Health Assessment 2018, and thanks to the active engagement of individuals and partners across the state. Four broad strategies emerged during the 2018 assessment and improvement planning process to improve outcomes in six priority health and social conditions:

  • Child Development
  • Chronic Disease
  • Mental Health
  • Oral Health
  • Substance Use

Social Determinants: Housing, Transportation, Food, Economic Security
Annual action plans were developed with partners, and progress was tracked on the State Health Improvement Plan Performance Scorecard

Read about the process for updating the 2018 State Health Assessment and 2019-2023 State Health Improvement Plan

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