Sign In
Boston Public Health Commission Home




Periodically, the Research and Evaluation Offices creates "Data Briefs" addressing timely and significant public health topics. This section includes links to those.

Healthcare Access, Health Behaviors, and Health Status Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adults in Boston, 2010 – 2017 (Published October 2020)

Demographic Characteristics and Social Determinants of Health Among Boston's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adult Residents, 2010 – 2017 (Published August 2019)

Racial Differences in Accessing Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment Following an Opioid Overdose (Published March 2019)


Elevating Voices of Overdose Survivors Living on the Street

Elevating Voices ReportThe report Elevating Voices of Overdose Survivors Living on the Street: a Boston Overdose Linkage to Treatment Study (BOLTS) Sub-Analysis Focusing on Mass. and Cass Area Community Members is from the BOLTS qualitative study. We embarked on this sub-analysis to provide qualitative information taking into consideration City efforts to house individuals living on the street within the Mass. and Cass area.  While the BOLTS study is not primarily focused on homelessness, our participant sample, interviews, and survey tools allowed us to use the data toward better understanding of the profile and insights of a population with extremely high need for support: individuals both with SUD (i.e., who had recently had an overdose where an opioid was present) and living on the street at the time of the interview. We recognize that some of what we provide here has come up in other forums but believe elevating the voices of these participants is extremely important toward building further understanding of the local community experience. We are continuing to work on the analysis of the larger sample of Boston Residents with a more central focus on racial equity and access to substance misuse treatment.

This work was funded by the RIZE Massachusetts Foundation, an independent nonprofit foundation working to end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts and reduce its devastating impact on people, communities, and our economy.

Healthcare Access Report

In March 2017, the Boston Public Health Commission engaged in a collaborative process to assess availability of healthcare services in the city of Boston across three strategies: reviewing preliminary data, convening healthcare system stakeholders, and surveying vulnerable populations.  This included a process to identify un-served or under-served populations through a combination of data review and surveying representatives from Boston’s healthcare system at the Healthcare Access Convening. BPHC also surveyed clients from the identified vulnerable populations to further understand the barriers to care they experience in Boston. The Healthcare Access Report summarizes these findings. ​.

Health of Boston's Children Report
The Health of Boston’s Children: Parent and Caregiver perspectives is the product of a partnership between BPHC and Boston Children’s Hospital to survey 2,100 parents and caregivers about a variety of health-related issues for children from birth to age seventeen. The study examines the demographics of Boston’s children and families, child health and health services, their home and school life, engagement with community resources, special health care needs, and parent and caregiver experiences raising children in Boston.

The report is based on the Boston Survey of Children’s Health, a phone survey conducted in 2012. Because the survey was modeled on the National Survey of Children’s Health, findings allow researchers to compare health outcomes and experiences of Boston’s children and families with those of children and families across Massachusetts and the United States.

The reported is intended to encourage public dialogue, inform policymakers, and stimulate programs, services and research aimed at eliminating inequities and improving health outcomes for children. It is the first of three reports that will, together, comprise the Boston Child Health Study.

Infant Mortality Report
After more than a decade of concerted effort to improve the health of Black women and their children, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) released a data brief showing significant improvement in the Black Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and a historic narrowing of the IMR gap between Black infants and White infants.
Substance Abuse Reports​
Substance Abuse in Boston reports provide a broad picture of alcohol and drug misuse and abuse among Boston residents. The reports focus on data from select sources including surveys, substance abuse mortality, hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and treatment admissions in an effort to describe patterns and trends of specific substance abuse-related health experiences among Boston residents. 
Infectious Disease Bureau

The Infectious Disease Bureau regularly releases reports on the statistics, trends, and overall epidemiology of communicable diseases. You can access these reports below, organized by disease. Check back frequently for the most up-to-date data.

Emergency Shelter Commission​: Annual Homeless Census
The Emergency Shelter Commission coordinates the annual city of Boston Homeless Count each December - a one-night point in-time census of homeless persons living on the streets, in emergency shelters for individuals or families, in domestic violence programs, in residential mental health or substance abuse programs, in transitional housing and in specialized programs serving homeless youth and homeless Veterans. The Homeless Count in Boston provides critical information on the scope of the problem of homelessness in our community. Review past reports here. 
Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: