High Blood Pressure

Percentage of adults who report high blood pressure

PLACES Project, Centers for Disease Control. Data from 2021, 1 year modeled estimate.
Dashboard-City Average

Why do we measure high blood pressure?

One in every three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, and only about half have the condition under control.1 Rates of high blood pressure are strikingly high for Black Americans compared with White Americans. Approximately 42% of Black men and 43% of Black women suffer from high blood pressure, versus 31% of White men and 27% of White women.High blood pressure is closely associated with cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.2 Family history, high stress level, smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and race/ethnicity all put people at risk for developing high blood pressure.3 The good news is that high blood pressure can be treated with medication or with lifestyle changes, such as reduced sodium intake, increased daily physical activity, and smoking cessation.1 

How do we measure high blood pressure?

This metric includes adults, aged 18 or older, who report ever having been told they have high blood pressure. This metric excludes women who have high blood pressure only during pregnancy and individuals who have been told they have borderline high blood pressure.

Strengths and Limitations

Strengths of Metric

Limitations of Metric

• Using self-reported data is the most inexpensive and reliable way to measure blood pressure for a sample of a large population.

• One in five people do not know they have high blood pressure, which means the metric may underestimate the real number of people with this condition.1

• The metric is self-reported and depends on the accuracy of the person surveyed.


High blood pressure is calculated by the following formula:

high blood pressure

For more information on the calculation, please refer to the City Health Dashboard Technical Document.

Data Source

Estimates for this metric are from 2017 one year modeled PLACES Project Data (formerly 500 Cities Project) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multi-year data are available for this metric. For more information, please refer to Using Multi-Year Data: Tips and Cautions


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention: High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet. https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_bloodpressure.htm. Accessed January 12, 2017.

  2.  American Heart Association. The Facts About High Blood Pressure. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/GettheFactsAboutHighBloodPressure/The-Facts-About-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002050_Article.jsp#.Wlj7m66nG2w. Accessed January 12, 2018.

  3. American Heart Association. Know Your Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/UnderstandSymptomsRisks/Know-Your-Risk-Factors-for-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002052_Article.jsp#.Wlj4-a6nG2w. Accessed January 12, 2018.

Last updated: July 26th, 2023