Fact Sheet 5: Data Disaggregation


Social policy advocates must understand how disaggregated data can uncover hidden disparities in their work. Exposing unseen truths can help to humanize broken systems by thinking about members of marginalized communities as individuals with stories.

“Data disaggregation provides evidence for why interventions are necessary and helps to make the case for why resources should be directed to specific populations.”

“Because disparities are not always between whites and people of color, it is not always appropriate to use whites as the reference group when describing disparities in services or outcomes for people of color.”


  • Because some disparities are not as obvious as others, data disaggregation can uncover previously unknown inequities. For a full picture, population-level data should be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, age bands, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and ability.
  • Advocacy organizations can gain better access to data by partnering with government agencies to obtain this information. Show that your organization can be trusted with their data by demonstrating your solid history, the quality of products you release, and the effectiveness of the campaigns you lead.
  • Organizations and policymakers can shape new narratives that replace prevailing myths about low-income communities and communities of color by illustrating disparities in access compared to opportunities.