Visualizing and Powering Healthy Lives


Visualizing and Powering Healthy Lives is a $2 million grant initiative that supports 10 projects across the US, leveraging United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project (USALEEP) data to explore how communities can address health disparities and ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity for a long life. The selected grantees and their partners are committed to narrowing gaps in life expectancy by:

  • effectively and powerfully visualizing USALEEP data for wider audiences, and/or
  • using the USALEEP dataset with interdisciplinary approaches that address health disparities, narrow the life-expectancy gap, and promote health equity and social justice.


A joint effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, and the National Center for Health Statistics, USALEEP data measures life expectancy at birth for nearly every neighborhood in the US, the first public-health-outcome measure available nationwide at the census-tract level. These estimates of life expectancy were created through a rigorous methodology that involved geocoding death records of US residents and using census-tract-level population estimates from the American Community Survey.  

To explore this data, visit the USALEEP data interactive to learn about the life expectancy in your neighborhood.


Visualizing and Powering Healthy Lives has selected 10 organizations to receive funding for projects using life-expectancy data to explore health outcomes in their communities and spark action. Over the next year, these grantees will put this local data to work and address social factors that influence life expectancy, including education, air pollution, affordable housing, access to parks, and economic mobility.

Get to know the grantees and their projects by clicking on the profiles below. Learn about how each grantee is using USALEEP data and how communities will benefit from their work. Be sure to follow #CloseHealthGaps on Twitter and share your own stories of using USALEEP data to advance health outcomes.


Like the 500 Cities Data Challenge, the Visualizing and Powering Healthy Lives funding opportunities began with an open invitation for organizations across the US to submit brief letters of interest. Organizations with the best ideas were invited to submit full proposals detailing their proposed project's activities, timeline, budget, and intended impact. The applicants were judged on how their projects would meet the following selection criteria:

  • centrality of USALEEP data in proposed project
  • creativity and innovation in use of USALEEP data
  • thematic relevance of the proposed project, especially connections across sectors
  • replicable/open project approach
  • integration of community expertise/stakeholder empowerment
  • feasibility of the proposed project to be completed during the grant period

Please stay tuned for our grantmaking toolkit to learn more about the selection and award process.

Child Trends, Inc.

Bethesda, MD
United States

Educational Opportunity
Illustrating the relationship between educational opportunity and life expectancy, clarifying the potential long-term health implications of educational opportunity gaps.
Community Empowerment Association

Pittsburgh, PA
United States

Policy and Community Interventions
Using community-based participatory research to engage two Pittsburgh neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by low life expectancy to identify health-related factors, develop implementation plans, and engage with policymakers on solutions.
Community Information Now

San Antonio, TX
United States

Community Interventions
Visualizing the life expectancy gap in Bexar County, Texas, to raise awareness, answer questions, trigger action, build capacity among partners, and fuel ongoing change to close the life expectancy gap.
Cook County Family Connection

Sparks, GA
United States

Rural Health Equity
Generating community action in 11 rural Georgia counties by using life expectancy data as the catalyst for examining health inequities among census tracts and spearheading meaningful public conversations.

New Haven, CT
United States

Civic Engagement and Policy Interventions
Integrating community organizing with data analysis and resident-driven video storytelling to advocate for targeting resources to strategies that community knowledge and data suggest will reduce health inequities.
Measure of America

Brooklyn, NY
United States

Affordable Housing, Health Equity
Showcasing the intersection of affordable housing and health equity with an open data tool, where residents and advocates can overlay life-expectancy estimates on housing and health equity data.
Prevention Institute

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Park Equity, Strategic Powering-Building, and Equitable Infrastructure Investment
Cocreating model mapping tools and advocacy resources that overlay USALEEP data with existing data on park/green space access to advocate for equities in access to public green space.
Richmond City Health District

Richmond, VA
United States

Education Policy and Social and Economic Justice
Ensuring that the rezoning and magnetizing process of Richmond Public Schools is both data- and community-driven and results in policy shifts that improve integration, school quality, and equitable educational achievement for all public school students in Richmond.
The Data Center of Southeast Louisiana

New Orleans, LA
United States

Economic Mobility and Racial Equity
Leveraging data on life expectancy and economic mobility to examine place- and race-based inequity in New Orleans and across the region.
Virginia Department of Health, Office of Health Equity

Richmond, VA
United States

Structural Inequities and Community Interventions
Demonstrating the link between community, social determinants, and health outcomes as a means to equip communities with data to combat social and structural inequities in Virginia.