Data Visualizations & Research

Find all research and reports created by The Big Cities Health Coalition.  

Data: In Big Cities, Men Die of Opioid Overdoses More than Women

June 2016 -  City data show that men who live in the largest, most urban cities are dying in greater numbers of unintentional opioid overdoses than are women. These 11 cities also reported higher deaths rates from opioids than the U.S. as a whole. Negotiations are also currently underway in the U.S. Congress to address the epidemic. 

A number of cities in the Coalition are using innovative policies to reduce opioid deaths, including Baltimore, whose Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, published a blog on the Coalition’s website detailing actions she and her health department have taken to prevent opioid overdoses.  Wen discusses the standing order— a blanket prescription—she issued to make an antidote called naloxone available to all 620,000 residents of Baltimore. Since 2015, her department has trained over 10,000 people to use naloxone, including members of the police force, who have in turn saved the lives of 30 residents in just the past six months. 

Read the press release.

Data Analysis: Big City Teens Smoke Less

May 2016 - A new look at data from the Big Cities Health Inventory data platform shows that teenagers who live in the largest, most urban cities typically smoke less than other American teens.  Many of these high-performing jurisdictions have passed evidence-based laws to curb youth smoking. The release coincides with World No Tobacco Day, May 31st, which is sponsored annually by the World Health Organization (WHO) to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco and encourage governments to adopt tobacco reduction strategies. 

Read the press release.

Read the Chicago Health Commissioner's blog, "How the Windy City is Stopping Kids from Lighting Up."

Why Should Congress Raise the Tobacco Sale Age to 21?

April 2016 - At our recent Congressional Briefing Tobacco 21: Raise the Age to Save Lives, held in collaboration with Trinity Health and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, we released this graphic on why Tobacco 21 should be passed at the federal level. 

For National Public Health Week, Coalition Evaluates Cities' Progress on 2020 Goals

April 2016 - The Big Cities Health Coalition created a new infographic to mark National Public Health Week, which takes place between April 4th-8th. The graphic takes a look at cities progress towards their Health People 2020 Goals, which are benchmarks that were created 30 years ago by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  to improve health by key measures by 2020.

View the infographic here.

To Mark World Cancer Day and Wear Red Day, Coalition Releases Infographics on Cancer and Heart Disease in the Big Cities 

February 2016 - The Big Cities Health Coalition released two infographics to coincide with National Cancer Prevention Month, World Cancer Day (February 4th), and Wear Red Day (February 5th), which raises awareness about heart disease in women.   The graphics feature data that show how some of America's largest cities are faring in the battle against these two major public health challenges. 

View the infographics here.

View the press release here.

Big Cities Health Inventory Data Platform 

November 2015 - The Health Inventory Data Platform is an open data platform that allows users to access and analyze health data from 26 cities, for 34 health indicators, and across six demographic indicators. It enables users to explore data both by city and by indicator, facilitates comparisons among urban areas, and provides an avenue to understand the major health concerns of cities in the United States. More importantly, it provides the opportunity to download the entire data set, or portions of it, for research purposes.

Access the Big Cities Health Inventory Data Platform.

Big Cities Health Inventory Report: Case Studies

November 2015 - The Big Cities Health Inventory report highlights some of the innovative ways that cities are addressing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Winnable Battles” through 12 case studies. These are key health priorities connected to the leading causes of death and disease. The individual case studies report on cutting-edge programs and innovative approaches to address health challenges in select cities.

Download all 12 case studies here, or read them separately, below.

Food Safety

  • Chicago: Digital Sleuthing & Engagement to Battle Foodborne Illness
  • Los Angeles: Restaurant Grades Lower Illness While Boosting Awareness and Consumer Engagement 


  • Houston: Houston Hits Home with Youth and HIV/STD Testing
  • San Francisco: Determined to Get to Zero When It Comes to HIV

Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity


  • New York City: Preventing the Habit Anchors the Big Apple's Tobacco 21 & Minimum Price Laws
  • Seattle-King County: Early E-Cigarette Ban Reignited Effort to Snuff Out Tobacco Smoking


  • Boston: Trauma Awareness Helps Reduce Violence and Its Community Impact
  • Minneapolis: Taking on Youth Violence
  • Kansas City: It's about Interpersonal Relationships

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice:
Big City Supplement

January 2015 - The BCHC released a special issue in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: "Big City Health Departments: Leadership Perspectives." The supplement highlights innovative strategies and programs driven by those on the front lines of some of the largest American cities and focuses on how urban health departments can make cities healthier places to live. Written by health commissioners, the supplement offers recommendations for how local health departments can confront a wide range of health issues in their communities. In light of the Affordable Care Act’s passage, the supplement also addresses concerns and strategies for this new era in health policy.

Watch an introduction to the supplement by the coalition's Senior Advisor, Shelley Hearne, DrPH, below.  

Access the full text of the supplement