Key Data

How to Use This Page

Expand the topic you wish to learn more about.


In Washington State:

  • 627,000 people have diabetes (about 1 out of 9).
  • 1.9 million adults have prediabetes (about 1 out of 3).
  • Individual medical cost associated with diabetes: $14,000/year.
  • About 4,500 youth have diagnosed diabetes.
  • In 2015, there were 39,000 new cases of diagnosed diabetes.
  • Prevalence varies by age, ethnicity, income and education (see Health Equity Concerns).

Data Sources:


Status of obesity data collection, sharing, and access:

  • Currently, population data on obesity is collected for young children. About 50% of all infants born are served by the Women Infants Children (WIC) program, this population is a lower income population and therefore is probably at higher risk of obesity.
  • Data for adults and teens is self-reported, so has limitations. Adult data comes from a Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) national survey, and therefore it is difficult or impossible to determine significant differences in populations at the local level.
  • In 2014, about 27% of adults were obese. Source: Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), self-reported height and weight.
  • In 2014, about 11% of 10th graders were obese, and 24% were overweight. Source: Healthy Youth Survey, self-reported height and weight.
  • In 2014, about 10% of children served by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) were obese. Source: WIC, measured height and weight.

From 2012–2014

  • 25% of Washington women who gave birth were obese prior to pregnancy, including 5% of women who were morbidly obese.
  • 45% of women who gave birth gained more weight during pregnancy than recommended, with higher rates in overweight or obese women (52%) compared with women not overweight or obese (44%). Source: Washington State birth certificate data
  • The rate of prescription opioid overdose deaths has declined, while the rate of heroin overdoses has increased.*
  • About 330,000 persons 12 years and older in Washington State are estimated to misuse pain relievers.*
  • Nearly 60% of those who inject heroin said they were “hooked on” prescription opiates before they began using heroin.*
  • 66% of drug injectors in Washington reported they would like help stopping or reducing their drug use.*

Sources used:

* Sources:

DOH Death Certificates

National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2015-2016

2015 Drug Injector Health Survey, University of Washington and Public Health-Seattle & King County

UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute 2015 WA State Syringe Exchange Survey


Tobacco use prevalence and harm is hidden by the lack of data for some populations. A lack of data does not mean that disparities do not exist. Some limitations of general population surveys and risk factor surveillance systems include:

  • Exclusion of specific groups of people
  • Small communities
  • Grouping of diverse populations
  • Reliance on self-reported data

An example of the disparities not captured by general population surveys includes high smoking rates among Asian American communities. The Washington State Department of Health recently solicited and received feedback from community partners on potential improvements to the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) and is assessing the feasibility of including questions on Asian ethnic origin in both of these surveys.

Data monitoring is also a critical issue for LGBT communities. In 2014, Washington State’s HYS added sexual orientation as a demographic variable.

Tobacco use

  • Adult smoking rate (2012 through 2014): 16.2%
  • 10th grade smoking rate: 8%
  • 10th grade overall use of products that contain nicotine remains high due to increases in electronic cigarettes and vapor products

Health burden

  • One in five WA deaths: Including secondhand smoke, cigarettes cause approximately 17% to 19% of deaths in Washington State per year
  • 8,300 Washington residents die from smoking each year
  • 3,900 Washington youth (under 18) become daily smokers each year
  • 104,000 Washington youth alive today will ultimately die prematurely from smoking

Economic burden

  • $2.8 billion in annual economic costs directly caused by smoking

Sources used:

Well Child Visits

Washington State has the goal that children on Apple Health will have annual well child visits at 75th percentile by 2018. As of 2016, children receive well child visits at a rate of 39% to 69% for children ranging from adolescence to infancy. For more information on current Washington State rates, see the Healthier Washington Dashboard. National health burden, identified by American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control in 2015:

  • In the United States, one in ten children ages three to 17 have a developmental or behavioral disability including autism, intellectual disability, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
  • Some children do not have developmental disabilities identified as early as possible, due to missing or unscheduled well child visits.
  • These disabilities can influence school readiness, particularly if the child is not screened and treated before age 10.
  • Early intervention and treatment can greatly improve a child’s development from birth to age three.

Sources used: