MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

National Public Health Indicators


Donald L. Noah

, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, Lincoln Memorial University;

Stephanie R. Ostrowski

, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University

Last full review/revision May 2015 | Content last modified Jun 2016

Unfortunately, there are no direct measurements of public health in a population. Therefore, it is difficult to compare overarching changes over time or against other populations, except with surrogates such as surveillance for specific diseases/events and specific population attributes. Accepted among many public health officials is some combination of the following national health indicators: 1) life expectancy at birth (years)—the average number of years that a newborn could expect to live, if he or she were to pass through life exposed to the sex- and age-specific death rates prevailing at the time of his or her birth; 2) infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births)—the probability of a child born in a specific year dying before reaching the age of 1 yr; 3) age-standardized mortality rate (number/unit population)—a weighted average of the age-specific (ages 30–70) mortality rates per 100,000 persons, in which the weights are the proportions of persons in the corresponding age groups of the WHO standard population; 4) childhood immunization rate (%)—the percentage of children (19–35 mo old) who have received the recommended combined vaccine series; 5) annual population growth rate (%)—average exponential rate of annual growth of the population over a given time period; 6) density of physicians (number/unit population)—number of medical doctors (physicians), including generalist and specialist practitioners, per 10,000 persons; 7) gross national income per capita ($USD)—total annual purchasing power, standardized to the US dollar; 8) government expenditure on health as a percentage of total government expenditure (%); 9) per capita total expenditure on health ($USD); 10) population median age (years); 11) obesity (%)—adults (>20 yr old) who have a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2.

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Basics of Food Safety
Foodborne pathogens have similar nutritional and environmental requirements that affect their ability to multiply. Food handlers can control these aspects to limit pathogen growth. For example, pathogens grow best when the temperature is 40°F and 140°F. In general, perishable foods should not be kept in this danger zone for more than how many hours?
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website