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The Assessment, Policy Development and Evaluation (APDE) Unit in Public Health – Seattle & King County has a number of data sources in-house and know of many more. The best way to get a sense of the data APDE has available is to look at our reports, in particular, Community Health Indicators.

We most commonly use data on vital statistics (births and deaths), hospitalizations, and population estimates. For information on health behaviors and risks, we most often use the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) or the Healthy Youth Survey (HYS). We also use Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data extensively. If what you're looking for is not already available, our data request service assists users by performing custom analyses of available data. We often know of other people who may be of assistance and are happy to facilitate introductions.

Contact us

See tips below on how to submit an effective data request. You will receive an email within 24 hours noting your message was received.

Helpful tips:

Data request policy

If none of our existing reports or indicators fit your data needs, and if your question is one which we have data to address, we can conduct a custom data analysis as timeline and capacity permits. Our policy is to offer the first two hours of staff time for a particular data request/question free of charge (this includes time for phone and e-mail consultation). Beyond two hours, we charge $115 per hour, with a three-hour minimum.

We are staffed Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. Our goal is to fulfill data requests in three weeks or less, on a first-come, first-served basis. When our work plan does not permit us to answer requests within three weeks, a target completion date will be mutually agreed upon.

  • Data requests that take two or fewer hours of total staff time to prepare will be free to the requester.

  • The two-hour limit is specific to the requester, not the organization. Requesters from the same organization but who are clearly working on different projects will be treated as separate requesters. The two-hour time limit is per calendar year.

  • For data requests that take more than two hours:
    • Staff time in excess of the first two hours will be charged at $115/hour, with a three-hour minimum. Please contact us at to work with us to set up a contract.
    • Please contact us with as much notice as possible to allow time for the contract to be finalized.

  • Health departments in local health jurisdictions in Washington state, the Washington State Department of Health, other King County government departments, and other public governmental agencies in King County, will be exempt from fees to cover the costs of routine data requests. This includes internal requests from other Public Health — Seattle & King County divisions. However, all other agencies and individuals will be covered by this policy.

How to make an effective data request

E-mailing your request to with the information below or entering the information into the web form below will make the process smoother. We will respond to your inquiry the next business day.

Before submitting your request, please examine our Community Health Indicators site, which often has the data that individuals request.

Please include the following in your data request. You don't need to know the answers to all of the questions below – just provide the information you know and we can help figure out the rest.

Finally, we encourage you to think through your entire request and ask for all aspects of what you expect to need. It is faster and easier for us to do multiple analyses at one time rather than in batches, which means you get your information sooner. We do understand that sometimes the first batch of results leads to more questions, but sometimes a thoughtful process in advance can be more efficient!

1. Contact information

Your name

2. Date needed
When do you need to receive the data? We often have competing urgent requests so prioritizing may be necessary.

3. Purpose of the request
Briefly describe your program, grant, paper, or project. Context helps us understand your request, and we may know of other relevant data to help.

4. Is this request related to a past request, and/or do you have a table or chart you would like duplicated or updated?
It helps us to see past correspondence and copies of the tables or charts you want us to reproduce/update. If so, we will communicate with you about how to send us attachments after you send in your data request.

Don't know

5. Specific data needed or desired, even if you think it may not be available (we can help identify available data).
Examples: Details on particular cause(s) of death, difference between current asthma vs. ever told to have asthma, percent below 100% or 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, etc.

6. Specific data source, if known (Note: if you don't know the data source, you can leave this blank.)

Vital statistics (Examples: birth, death, hospitalizations)
Survey data (Examples: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, Healthy Youth Survey)
Census Bureau data (2010 Census, American Community Survey, other demographic data)
Other, please explain:

7. Timeframe of data (we can clarify for you what is the most recent year of data available)
Examples: Are data from the most recent year of data OK? Most recent three years? Do you want to look at trends over a longer period? How old is too old (for example, for a 2019 grant application, is 2010 census data useful)?

8. Geographic area
Examples: State, King County (KC), KC city, KC health reporting area, zip, census tract, block group

9. Demographic characteristics (please specify how you want these to be analyzed)
Examples: Age groups (which age groupings), race/ethnicity (with Latino as ethnicity or race), gender, etc.

10. As you define more specific categories, the number of cases for analysis gets smaller. We may be unable to release small numbers, depending on the data source. If this happens, what could be aggregated?
Examples of how data can be aggregated: Broader age groups? Larger geographic area? A group of years rather than a single year? (We can assist with this decision)

11. Format preferred for response
Examples: Excel table, chart, map, narrative

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