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The PHSA Population & Public Health Program collects, analyzes, and shares data about health status and chronic diseases as well as about protective and risk factors among British Columbians.
What is surveillance?
Population and public health surveillance is the ongoing and systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of evidence and data for use in planning, implementing, and evaluating health policy and practice.

Various aspects of the health of the population are reported using health indicators. Health indicators are quantifiable measures for describing health status, determinants of health, and health system performance. 
Topics for surveillance can include:

  • the overall health of the population
  • social determinants of health (i.e., non-medical factors that affect health)
  • health services received by a region's residents
  • characteristics of the community or the health system
Our activities

The PPH surveillance team engages in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data about health status, chronic diseases as well as their protective and risk factors among British Columbians.

The team works closely with the Ministry of Health, PHSA agencies, the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health, regional health authorities, and universities, aiming to enhance provincial surveillance capacity through collaboration and partnership. 

Through a range of projects, surveillance activities support all PPH initiatives such as promoting health equity and healthy weights, food security, and Healthy Families BC (HFBC). The surveillance team is also leading the evaluation of two provincial HFBC initiatives: Healthy Communities and Healthy Schools. ​The surveillance team is working on expanding the data access and their linkages from the Ministry of Health and the PHSA agencies for enhancing the chronic disease surveillance system in the province. This initiative also supports the data needs of PHSA agencies and programs including the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health.

Reports & resources


Official reports and resources produced for/by PHSA Population & Public Health:


This report summarizes 16 of the 52 prioritized health equity indicators for BC. It provides current evidence for some health inequities in early life, adolescence, and adulthood among BC populations across geographic, demographic and socio-economic dimensions.

Released: January 2016


Infographic resource for health professionals that introduces health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) as a population health measure. Explores life expectancy and HALE for British Columbians with and without hypertension and diabetes. 

Released: December 2015

Estimates the current and project future health-care costs and indirect productivity losses associated with each of three chronic disease risk factors: excess weight (obesity and overweight), physical inactivity and tobacco smoking.

Released: July 2015

This report presents provincial and HSDA-level student health data for seven priority areas: healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use, healthy weight, mental health, learning to stay healthy at school and school connectedness.

Released: December 2014

Provincial findings of a survey assessing healthy eating knowledge and behaviours among adult British Columbians.

Released: October 2014

Describes the process used to develop a set of priority population-level health equity indicators that may be useful to monitor health equity across B.C.

 Released: October 2014

Literature scan on appropriate indicators to measure health equity in B.C.'s health system

Released: March 2013

Evidence review on the status of health care for children and youth with diabetes and other complex chronic diseases.

Released: October 2010

Describes health behaviours, health conditions, and well-being among British Columbians at the health service delivery area, health region, and provincial levels.

Released: March 2010

Feasibility study to provide participating schools with data to assess students' health and assist in planning healthy school activities.

Released: March 2010

Key graphs and figures related to income and poverty at the local level in B.C. according to 2006 Census data.

Released: October 2008

Comprehensive list of relevant indicators for monitoring and reporting on population health in B.C.

Released: October 2008

Evidence reviews summarize women's health issues in B.C. to facilitate action.

Released: October 2008

List of indicators that provide objective ways to measure and track changes in community status and population health.

Released: July 2008

Explores patterns in healthcare use in Richmond, B.C.

Released: June 2008

Assessment of life expectancy in B.C. as compared to other developed countries that have hosted Winter Games.

Released: April 2007

Results of a survey to measure health behaviours among people in 26 communities across all five regional health authorities in B.C.

Released: January 2007

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