State Health Assessment 2018

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The Vermont State Health Assessment 2018 is our five year update on what we know about the health status of Vermonters. It provides vital data for examining health inequities by race and ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status and geography. This assessment will serve as the basis for developing the State Health Improvement Plan 2019-2023, helping us prioritize goals and objectives for health, monitor trends, identify gaps and track progress.

We thank the many organizations and individuals who participated in the public engagement process and responded to drafts during the public comment period. Their voices and stories have informed and enriched this assessment.

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

Title Description

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.


If you would like to receive a print copy of the Vermont State Health Assessment, send your request to

Read about the process for updating the State Health Assessment and State Health Improvement Plan