Vital Signs Report Cover

The Vital Signs report is compiled every three years through a collaboration of local organizations which sponsor the project. Please consider making a donation to support the development of future reports. ACTION for Healthy Communities has a fund held at The Community Foundation SLO County, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to receive contributions. Thank you.

Please click here to make a contribution through the Community Foundation    

What is the quality of life like in San Luis Obispo County? Do residents feel safe? Are there enough employment opportunities? Do people feel they have access to good schools and services? Is our community healthy? These are just a few of the questions that a consortium of public and private health, education, business, environmental, human service and civic organizations set out to answer when they began the ACTION for Healthy Communities project in the late 1990s.

As defined, the project goals are:

  • Raise public awareness of human needs, changing trends, emerging issues and community problems;
  • Provide accurate, credible and valid information on an ongoing basis to human services planners and those providing funds;
  • Provide information for individual institutions to guide decision-making about creation, management, and redesign of programs;
  • Establish community goals using measurable Quality-of-Life Indicators that will lead to positive, healthy development for individuals, families and communities;
  • Develop and support collaborative action plans to achieve the community goals.

The first wave of data collection occurred in 1999. The project was updated in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2013 , 2016 and the 2020 survey represents the eighth report, in which many of the measures have been examined for trends, and some new indicators have been added. The report was completed just before the Covid-19 pandemic changed life as we know it. We know, however, the data collected during December 2019, will be vital to tracking the county’s recovery after the pandemic eases.

Much like the Vital Signs report released in 2010 right after the great recession, the 2020 report provides baseline data for recovery in the areas of Basic Needs, Economy, Health, Natural and Built Environment, Public Safety, and Social Environment.

While the results presented throughout this report reflect a much different landscape than residents of San Luis Obispo County experience today, the ACTION for Healthy Communities team is committed to using these results to ensure that all residents of San Luis Obispo County are healthy and thriving amidst even the toughest of circumstances.

For further information contact: ACTION for Healthy Communities, c/o The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County, 550 Dana Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401; Phone: 805-543-2323.

2020 VITAL SIGNS report:

Full Report

Front Matter

Basic Needs



Natural and Built Environment

Public Safety

Social Environment



Archived Reports and Folios