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New Health Poll Database Debuts at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

October 22, 2021

Ithaca, NY – On October 22, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, launched the Health Poll Database, an open resource offering researchers at every level unprecedented access to questions and results from over 80 years of U.S. national polls on health-related topics. This new resource promotes an understanding of public opinion on a broad range of health issues.

“The past year and a half have illuminated how issues from healthcare access to housing to food security to climate change can significantly affect our health and well-being. We were excited to support the development of the Health Poll Database because it will allow policymakers, researchers, journalists, and others to dig deep into the public’s views on broad issues impacting our health and efforts to advance equity,” Brian Quinn, Associate Vice President, Research-Evaluation-Learning, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said.

The Health Poll Database currently includes around 70,000 questions on a broad range of topics, from disease prevention and health care access to social determinants of health, such as experiences of discrimination or availability of quality childcare. An innovative visual search feature educates users on concepts in health and health policy while demonstrating the interconnectedness of different health issues.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear how important public opinion is to public health. Policymakers and researchers of all kinds can benefit from understanding what the public knows about health issues, what steps they take to protect themselves, and where they are getting information,” said Liz Hamel, Vice President and Director of Public Opinion and Survey Research at KFF and an advisor to this project. “This database provides the largest collection of this data in one place.”

The Health Poll Database also introduces new Roper Trends functionality. Hundreds of curated trends allow users to track public opinion on a variety of health subjects over time. These trends are curated by the Roper Center to prevent common errors in public opinion trending but are also customizable by researchers. Demographic crosstab tables also allow users to easily identify differences in attitudes by sex, age, income, health status, and other factors.

“The focus of this tool is health and health care in the United States, but the interface breaks new ground for public opinion research.  It can be applied to other important areas bearing on government policymaking. This comprehensive collection will enable researchers and others to track opinion trends and also how the opinions of different population subgroups have differed and varied over time as well.” said Robert Shapiro, Ph.D., Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Chair of the Roper Center Board of Directors. “The Health Poll Database should expand the use and impact of public opinion research by policymakers, public health advocates, and interested members of the public.”

The Health Poll Database offers open-access data for the use of the public and more extensive coverage for organizations. For more information, please contact


Founded in 1947 by Elmo Roper, and celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research plays a crucial role in the advancement of the field of public opinion research.  The Center’s mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate public opinion data; to serve as a resource to help improve the practice of survey research; and to broaden the understanding of public opinion through the use of survey data in the United States and around the world.  The archive expands daily and includes data from as early as 1935 and holds over 800,000 questions and 25,000 datasets. A 501 (c)(3), non-profit, the Roper Center is hosted at Cornell University.  On the web at Inquiries to