Health Disparities


Reducing health disparity among New Jerseyans is an overarching goal of the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH).  A health disparity is a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and / or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial and/or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.1

Priority Areas

New Jersey P.L.2004, c.137 established the "Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative" in the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH) and set forth priority areas for OMMH to develop and implement a comprehensive, coordinated plan to reduce health disparities between White and racial and ethnic minority populations in the State.

The health disparity priority areas are:

  • asthma
  • breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal cancer screening
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • hepatitis C
  • immunizations (adult and child)
  • infant mortality
  • injuries (accidental) and violence
  • kidney disease
  • obesity
  • sexually transmitted diseases

Race and Ethnicity Coding Guidelines

Race and Ethnicity Coding Guidelines for the New Jersey Department of Health and its Grantees is consistent with the 1997 OMB-15 directive and 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 NJDOH race and ethnicity data should be collected and disseminated.

Healthy New Jersey

Data and target values for Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are given for every objective based on person-level data.  When a single year of data does not provide enough events to calculate reliable rates for all racial/ethnic groups, three-year averages are used, if available.  For some objectives, three years of data combined still do not include enough events to calculate statistically reliable rates and are indicated as such in Healthy NJ 2020 documents.  For some data sources outside of NJDOH, data are not available for the four major racial/ethnic subgroups used in New Jersey.

Newest New JerseyansHealth of the Newest New Jerseyans report cover

Published in February, 2011, The Health of the Newest New Jerseyans 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 New Jersey 2020 reflect the major health concerns in New Jersey for the decade 2011-2020.
NJSHAD Indicator Reports

Most or all of the NJSHAD indicator reports in the following topic areas have one or more views by race/ethnicity:

  • Birth and Infant Health
  • Cancer (screening and mortality)
  • Healthy New Jersey
  • Injury and Violence
  • Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology
  • Mortality and Leading Causes of Death
  • Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
NJSHAD Custom Data Queries

All but one dataset in the NJSHAD query system have race and/or ethnicity among the variable choices. Datasets available include:

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Survey
  • Births
  • Deaths/Mortality
  • Emergency Department Visits
  • Fetal Deaths
  • Infant Deaths
  • Inpatient Hospital Discharges
  • Prenancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System
Other Data Sources

More data related to race and ethnicity for these topics are available at their respective websites.

Information about Health Disparities in New Jersey

1National Stakeholder Strategy, Healthy People 2020 and Health and Human Services (HHS) Plan 2011.

Last Reviewed: 4/17/2017