PALM DESERT — Data on the health, wellness, and quality of life for Coachella Valley community was released today, March 31. Survey topics in the data include topics such as healthcare access, utilization, health behaviors, major disease, mental health, and more.

The data released marks the fifth iteration of the Coachella Valley Community Heath Survey. Every three years, Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC), a local nonprofit, conducts an extensive community health survey in the Coachella Valley.

HARC has been tracking the community’s health for the past 14 years. The

During 2019, HARC conducted the Community Health Survey via random-digit-dialing of residents in the valley to obtain a representative snapshot for data that is not available from any other source. Hundreds of topics are now available to the community to view and download.

Health Insurance

Historically, the rate of uninsured adults (18 to 64) reached a decade-long low of 13.9% in 2016. However, in 2019, the Coachella Valley saw a substantial rise in those who are uninsured; approximately 20.6% of local working-age adults are now uninsured. What’s more is that the percent of uninsured working age adults in the Coachella Valley is nearly double the rate in California as a whole (20.6% uninsured vs. 10.7%, respectively).

Mental/Behavioral Health

Many organizations are prioritizing behavioral health needs and for good reason. For example, more than a quarter of adults in the region (28.6%) have been diagnosed with one or more mental health disorders. The most common include depression (14.2%) and anxiety (12.4%). While mental health disorder diagnoses have remained relatively the same over the years, rates of PTSD diagnoses have significantly increased from 5.4% in 2016 to 9.3% in 2019.


Nearly two-thirds (65.9%) of Coachella Valley adults are either overweight or obese, which highlights a substantial fitness/nutrition issue in the valley. However, many of these overweight/obese adults don’t realize it—39.1% believe they are “about the right weight.. This misperception makes it unlikely that these people will change their diet and exercise and are at high risk for obesity-related diseases.

HIV/AIDS Testing

More than half of Coachella Valley adults (51.0%) have been tested for HIV at least once. Among the five iterations of HARC’s surveys, 2019 marks the first time the percentage of adults being tested has surpassed more than half of the adult population. However, the remaining 49.0% of adults still need to seek HIV testing.

New Topics

HARC’s survey includes many of the same questions each cycle which means you can make longitudinal comparisons. However, the content also gets adapted each cycle. This year, the survey incorporated many new topics such as hospitalization for behavioral health issues, housing stability, loneliness, opioid use, recreational marijuana, adverse childhood experiences, conversations with children regarding social media, and much more.

Many More Areas to Explore

The 2019 Coachella Valley Community Health Survey Executive Report is available for download for free by clicking here. The electronic copy provides summaries, explanations, and interpretations of the data along with accompanying data visualizations.

You can also request a free hard-copy of the report to be mailed to you by entering your name and mailing address by clicking a secure link by clicking here.  The cost of mailing these reports has been covered by a generous grant from the City of Palm Desert.


About HARC

HARC is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based in Palm Desert. HARC provides research and evaluation services in the field of health, wellness, and quality of life. To learn more about HARC, click here. 

HARC’s Coachella Valley Community Health Survey is made possible by funding made possible by primary funder Desert Healthcare District & Foundation as well as the following funders (listed in  alphabetical order): Alzheimer’s Association – Coachella Valley, Auen Foundation, California Health Care Foundation -Oakland, CA, City of Cathedral City, City of Coachella, City of Desert Hot Springs, City of Indio, City of La Quinta, City of Palm Desert, City of Palm Springs, County of Riverside District 4, Desert AIDS Project, Desert Care Network: Desert Regional Medical Center & JFK Memorial Hospital, Desert Oasis Healthcare, Eisenhower Health, First 5 Riverside, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, RAP Foundation, Riverside County Office on Aging, Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health, Riverside University Health System – Public Health, Steve Tobin & Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation, as well as the generosity of private donors.

Image Sources

  • Health report: Shutterstock