RAND Social and Economic Well-Being

Building safe, healthy, and thriving communities

RAND Social and Economic Well-Being tackles some of the most critical challenges facing today’s policymakers: fostering healthy and resilient populations and environments, strengthening a fair and effective justice system, and ensuring that individuals and communities can address inequities and prosper.About us »

Informing the Agenda

RAND Social and Economic Well-Being works with the public and private sectors across disciplines to find and implement solutions to complex policy problems.

More SEW: Research | Commentary

Our cross-cutting research is housed in three programs:

  • Community Health and Environmental Policy

    How do we create conditions and environments that support health and well-being?

    The Community Health and Environmental Policy program focuses on such topics as infrastructure, science and technology, community design, community health promotion, migration and population dynamics, transportation, energy, and climate and the environment, as well as other policy concerns that are influenced by the natural and built environment, technology, and community organizations and institutions that affect well-being. Learn more »

  • Social and Behavioral Policy

    How do we actively promote policies, actions and behaviors that foster individual, family, household and social well-being?

    The Social and Behavioral Policy program advances solutions to improve the effectiveness of social programs; support marital and family well-being; raise people out of poverty, improve the lives of older adults, disabled populations, and their caregivers; and further the positive development of children, youth, and young adults. The program also develops and evaluates prevention and treatment programs to address substance use and abuse, mental health, active and independent living, and other factors that are critical for well-being. Learn more »

Our wide range of expertise gives us the tools and perspective to make connections across disciplines and to solve today's most challenging policy questions.


We focus on critical issues in localism and regionalism, such as the creation of innovation districts, development of local health and infrastructure plans, implementation of regional energy plans, and the role of appellate courts.


Our work considers the tradeoffs of regulation and deregulation across a range of industries and sectors, such as choices in the regulation of new technologies, supports for those living with disabilities, or energy markets.


We explore issues in governance, such as in the local implementation of resilience and sustainability plans, stewardship of new data in areas such as precision health or smart cities, and use of police review boards and other accountability mechanisms to strengthen police-community trust.

Civil Society Reform

We are invested in the role of civil society, including the use of citizen-guided technologies to support public safety or to apply citizen science to local problem-solving; the role of philanthropy in promoting health and well-being; expectations for the for-profit and nonprofit sectors in disaster response and recovery; and the leadership of the private sector in technology development.

Making a Difference

We are committed to not just being a leader in social and economic well-being research, but in ensuring that our work has a positive impact on the world.

  • An aerial view of Central Texas homes under water at Graveyard Point neighborhood community in the flood plain of Lake Travis, photo by RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images


    Climate Research at RAND

    RAND researchers have a long history of shedding light on the social and economic implications of a changing climate, its impacts on the natural environment, and the challenges it poses to communities, regions, and our national security.

  • Aerial view of Santa Monica city and beach


    Measuring Wellbeing to Help Communities Thrive

    The city of Santa Monica wanted to incorporate wellbeing into city planning, policies, and programs. RAND researchers, as part of a team of experts, helped create a framework for measuring wellbeing and applying the findings to city planning.

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