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America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2016

Appendix B: Data Source Descriptions

Air Quality System

The Air Quality System (AQS) contains ambient air pollution data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies. Data on criteria pollutants (particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and lead) consist of air quality measurements collected by sensitive equipment at thousands of monitoring stations in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each monitor measures the concentration of a particular pollutant in the air. Monitoring data indicate the average pollutant concentration during a specified time interval, usually 1 hour or 24 hours. AQS also contains meteorological data, descriptive information about each monitoring station (including its geographic location and its operator), and data quality assurance/quality control information. Data are available from AQS beginning with the year 1957. The system is administered by the EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS), Outreach and Information Division (OID), located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For the Outdoor Air Quality indicator, a county is considered to have a pollutant concentration above the level of the current air quality standard if the measured pollutant level was greater than the level of the standard at any monitor within the county during the year. The indicator is calculated as the sum of children living in counties with pollutant concentrations above the level of a standard divided by the total number of children in the United States.

This calculation differs from the method for identifying areas in violation of an air quality standard. See America's Children and the Environment, Third Edition, at http://www.epa.gov/ace (Indicator E1) for further discussion.

Information about the AQS is available online at http://www.epa.gov/airdata/.

Agency Contact:
Nick Mangus
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (919) 541-5549
E-mail: mangus.nick@epa.gov

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American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an annual nationwide survey that replaced the long form decennial censuses beginning in 2010. The objective of the ACS is to provide data users with timely housing, social, and economic data that are updated every year and can be compared across states, communities, and population groups.

The ACS was implemented in three parts: (1) Demonstration period, 1996–1998, beginning at four sites; (2) Comparison site period, 1999–2004, comparing 31 sites continuously over this period as well as adding other counties to the survey in preparation for full implementation; and (3) Full implementation nationwide in 2005. Sampling of group quarters was added in 2006. Starting in January 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau implemented the ACS in every county of the United States, with an annual sample of 3 million housing units. Beginning in 2006, the survey data have been available every year for large geographic areas and population groups of 65,000 or more.

For small areas and population groups of 20,000 or less, a period of 5 years is necessary to accumulate a large enough sample to provide estimates with accuracy similar to the decennial census. Each month, a systematic sample of addresses is selected from the most current Master Address File (MAF). The sample represents the entire United States. Data are generally collected by mail; however, households that do not respond by mail may be contacted using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), or both.

Information about the ACS is available online at http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Agency Contact:
U.S. Census Customer Service Center
http://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

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American Housing Survey

The American Housing Survey (AHS) is sponsored by the Office of Policy Development and Research of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The survey provides data necessary for evaluating progress toward "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family," a goal affirmed in 1949 and 1968 legislation. The AHS began as an annual survey in 1973 and has been conducted biennially in odd numbered years since 1985. A longitudinal, nationally representative sample of 50,000 housing units plus newly constructed units has been surveyed since 1985. Transient accommodations, military and worker housing, and institutional quarters are excluded. AHS data detail the types, size, conditions, characteristics, costs and values, equipment, utilities, and dynamics of the housing inventory, as well as some information about neighborhood conditions. Data include demographic, financial, and mobility characteristics of the occupants. Since 1997, the AHS has been conducted using computer-assisted personal interviewing.

Information about the AHS is available online at http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html.

Agency Contact:
David Vandenbroucke
Office of Policy Development and Research
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Phone: (202) 402-5890
E-mail: David.A.Vandenbroucke@hud.gov

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Current Population Survey

Core survey and supplements. The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a nationwide survey of about 60,000 households conducted monthly for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau. The survey is representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States with a sample located in more than 2,000 counties and independent cities and coverage in every state and in the District of Columbia.

The CPS core survey is the primary source of information on the employment characteristics of the noninstitutionalized civilian population, including estimates of unemployment released every month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition to the core survey, monthly CPS supplements provide additional demographic and social data. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC)—formerly called the March Supplement—and the October school enrollment supplement provide information used to estimate the status and well-being of children. The ASEC and school enrollment supplement have been administered every year since 1947. The October supplement to the CPS asks questions on school enrollment by grade and on other school characteristics about each member of the household age 3 or older. In this report, data on poverty status, health insurance, and the highest level of school completed or degree attained are derived from the ASEC. The food security supplement, introduced in April 1995 and administered in December since 2001, is described in detail below.

The CPS sample is selected from a complete address list of geographically delineated primary sampling units, which are based on census addresses and updated using recent construction and other data. It is administered through field representatives, either in person or by telephone using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). Some CPS data are also collected through a centralized telephone operation, computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). For more information regarding the CPS, its sampling structure, and estimation methodology, see Current Population Survey design and methodology technical paper 66, Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2006, available online at http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/tp-66.pdf.

The 2014 CPS ASEC (which refers to health insurance coverage estimates of the 2013 calendar year) is the first to use the improved measures of health insurance coverage. Following more than a decade of research, evaluation, and consultation with outside experts, the Census Bureau implemented an approach shown to improve the accuracy of health insurance coverage measurement. For a list of references, please see the Census Bureau Director's statement on the improved set of health insurance coverage questions at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-67.html. Due to these changes, data for the 2014 CPS ASEC are not comparable to data from earlier years.

The 2014 CPS ASEC included redesigned questions for income and health insurance coverage. All of the approximately 98,000 addresses were selected to receive the improved set of health insurance coverage items. The improved income questions were implemented using a split panel design. Approximately 68,000 addresses were selected to receive a set of income questions similar to those used in the 2013 CPS ASEC. The remaining 30,000 addresses were selected to receive the redesigned income questions. The source of data for tables in this volume is the CPS ASEC sample of 98,000 addresses.

Food security supplement. The food security supplement contains a systematic set of questions validated as measures of severity of food insecurity on a 12-month and a 30-day basis. Statistics presented in this report are based on 12-month data from the CPS food security supplements. The food security questions are based on material reported in prior research on hunger and food security and reflect the consensus of nearly 100 experts at the 1994 Food Security and Measurement Conference, convened jointly by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The supplement was developed, tested, and refined further by the conferees, members of a Federal interagency working group, and survey methods specialists for the U.S. Census Bureau's Center for Survey Methods Research. All households interviewed in the CPS in December are eligible for the supplement. Special supplement sample weights were computed to adjust for the demographic characteristics of supplement noninterviews.

Information about food security is available online at the Economic Research Service at http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us.aspx.

Information about the CPS is available online at http://www.census.gov/cps.

Agency Contacts:
For more information on:

Education (early childhood and high school completion), contact:
Chris Chapman
National Center for Education Statistics
Phone: (202) 502-7414
E-mail: Chris.Chapman@ed.gov

Education (higher education), contact:
Tom Snyder
National Center for Education Statistics
Phone: (202) 502-7452
E-mail: Tom.Snyder@ed.gov

English language learners, contact:
U.S. Census Customer Service Center
http://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

Family structure, contact:
U.S. Census Customer Service Center
http://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

Food security, contact:
Alisha Coleman-Jensen
Economic Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Phone: (202) 694-5456
E-mail: acjensen@ers.usda.gov

Matthew P. Rabbitt
Economic Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Phone: (202) 694-5593
E-mail: matthew.rabbitt@ers.usda.gov

Poverty, family income, and health insurance, contact:
U.S. Census Customer Service Center
http://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

Secure parental employment and youth neither enrolled in school nor working, contact:
Lisa Williamson
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Phone: (202) 691-6396

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Decennial Census Data

The Census Bureau conducted decennial censuses in the United States in 1990, 2000, and 2010, as well as in previous decades back to 1790. Statistical data from the censuses of 2000 and 2010 are available through American Fact Finder. The data from the 1990 decennial census are archived and are searchable in American Fact Finder by including "archived products" in the search.

Date:

The topic search/survey category "Census United States" covers the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Census 2000 and earlier decennial censuses gathered information on demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics of the population. Census 2000 datasets include more subjects than those for 2010, because Census 2000 used both a short form (with a limited number of characteristics for every person and every housing unit) and a long form (with additional questions asked of a sample of persons and housing units). The short form provided information on age, sex, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, household relationship, tenure (whether a housing unit is owner- or renter-occupied), and occupancy status. The long form covered additional population characteristics such as income, educational attainment, labor force status, place of birth, etc., and additional housing characteristics.

In the 2010 Census of the United States a limited number of questions were asked of every person and every housing unit. Population and housing characteristics not covered in the 2010 Census can be found in data from the American Community Survey, also available on American Fact Finder.

In any large-scale statistical operation such as the 2010 Census, human- and computer-related errors occur. These errors are commonly referred to as nonsampling errors. Such errors include not enumerating every household or every person in the population, not obtaining all required information from the respondents, obtaining incorrect or inconsistent information, and recording information incorrectly. The primary sources of error and the programs instituted to control error in Census 2010 are described in detail in 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) in Chapter 7, "2010 Census: Operational Overview and Accuracy of the Data" located at http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/doc/pl94-171.pdf.

While it is impossible to completely eliminate nonsampling error from an operation as large and complex as the decennial census, the Census Bureau attempts to control the sources of such error during the collection and processing operations.

For information on the computation and use of standard errors, contact:
U.S. Census Customer Service Center
http://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

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High School Transcript Studies

High school transcript studies have been conducted since 1982 in conjunction with major data collections by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The studies collect information that is contained in a student's high school record: courses taken while attending secondary school, information on credits earned, when specific courses were taken, and final grades.

A high school transcript study was conducted in 2004 as part of the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002/2004). A total of 1,550 schools participated in the request for transcripts, for an unweighted participation rate of approximately 79 percent. Transcript information was received on 14,920 members of the student sample (not just graduates), for an unweighted response rate of 91 percent.

Similar studies were conducted of the coursetaking patterns of 1982, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2009 high school graduates. The 1982 data are based on approximately 12,000 transcripts collected by the High School and Beyond Study (HS&B). The 1987 data are based on approximately 25,000 transcripts from 430 schools obtained as part of the 1987 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) High School Transcript Study, a scope comparable to that of the NAEP transcript studies conducted in 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2000. The 1992 data are based on approximately 15,000 transcripts collected by the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88/92). The 2005 data, from the 2005 NAEP High School Transcript Study, come from a sample of over 26,000 transcripts from 640 public schools and 80 private schools. The 2009 NAEP High School Transcript Study (HSTS) collected a sample of transcripts from over 37,700 students from 610 public schools and 130 private schools.

Because the 1982 HS&B transcript study used a different method for identifying students with disabilities than was used in NAEP transcript studies after 1982, and in order to make the statistical summaries as comparable as possible, all the counts and percentages in this report are restricted to students whose records indicate that they had not participated in a special education program. This restriction lowers the number of 1990 graduates represented in the tables to 20,870.

Information on NAEP high school transcript studies is available online at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/hsts/

Agency Contact:
Janis Brown
Assessments Division
Reporting and Dissemination Branch
National Center for Education Statistics
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20208
E-mail: janis.brown@ed.gov

Information on all other high school transcript studies is available online at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/hst.

Agency Contact:
Carl Schmitt
Administrative Data Division
Elementary and Secondary Branch
National Center for Education Statistics
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20208
E-mail: carl.schmitt@ed.gov

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Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a nationally representative longitudinal survey that collects detailed information on health care utilization and expenditures, health insurance, and health status, as well as a wide variety of social, demographic, and economic characteristics for the civilian noninstitutionalized population. MEPS is cosponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Center for Health Statistics.

MEPS, which began in 1996, is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), and employers across the United States. MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of health insurance held by and available to U.S. workers.

The Household Component (HC) collects data from a sample of families and individuals in selected communities across the United States, drawn from a nationally representative subsample of households that participated in the prior year's National Health Interview Survey (conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics).

MEPS is a large-scale and comprehensive data collection effort that includes many types of survey questions, some of which only pertain to subsets of the diverse respondents participating in the survey. To accommodate the extensive array of questions covered, yet minimize the number of questions asked of each respondent, data are collected using an intricate system of skip patterns and questionnaire modules grouped into sections. Computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) using a laptop computer makes it possible to field such a complex data collection instrument.

During the household interviews, MEPS collects detailed information for each person in the household on the following: demographic characteristics, health conditions, health status, use of medical services, charges and source of payments, access to care, satisfaction with care, health insurance coverage, income, and employment.

MEPS Methodology references:

Cohen, J. (1997). Design and methods of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 1. AHCPR Pub. No. 97-0026. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

Cohen, S. (1997). Sample design of the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 2. AHCPR Pub. No. 97-0027. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

Cohen, S. (2003). Design strategies and innovations in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Medical Care, 41(7), Supplement: III-5–III-12.

For more information please e-mail us at mepspd@ahrq.gov or send a letter to the address below:

Steven B. Cohen, Ph.D.
Director
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850

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Monitoring the Future

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) study is a continuing series of surveys intended to assess the changing lifestyles, values, and preferences of American youth. Each year since 1975, high school seniors from a representative sample of public and private high schools have participated in this study. The 2014 survey is the 24th survey to include comparable samples of 8th- and 10th-graders in addition to seniors. The study is conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR) under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The survey design consists of a multistage random sample where the stages include selection of geographic areas, selection of one or more schools in each area, and selection of a sample of students within each school. Data are collected in the spring of each year using questionnaires administered in the classroom by representatives from ISR. The 2014 survey included a total of 41,551 students from 377 public and private schools.

Adjustments in 10th-grade change scores in 2009. All figures and tables in this report omit the data point from the 2008 survey of 10th-graders, because the data for that year were believed to be inaccurate due to sampling error, a highly unusual occurrence. This is the first time there was a need to adjust the data from a survey in the 34 years of the study; fortunately, this affects only a single grade.

Several facts led to this decision. First, it was observed that in 2008, 10th grade was the only grade that showed a decline in marijuana use, as well as in the indexes of use that include marijuana. In 2009, it was the only grade to show an increase in some of those same measures. While trends do sometimes differ from one grade to another, the fact that this happened in just a single year led to the conclusion that the 2008 10th-grade sample likely showed erroneously low levels of use of certain drugs—particularly marijuana and alcohol—most likely due to sampling error. Other findings also supported this interpretation.

An examination of the subgroup trend tables shows that there were unusually large increases of marijuana use in two regions of the country in 2009, the West and the South, raising the possibility that relatively few schools accounted for the increase in that year. Further, there is no evidence in the trend lines from the other two grades that such an increase was actually occurring in those two regions for either marijuana or alcohol, as would be expected if the 10th-grade data accurately represented the population. Finally, an examination of data from 10th-graders in the matched half sample of schools that participated in both the 2008 and 2009 surveys reveals considerably smaller 1-year increases in use of these two drugs than does the full sample analysis. The changes in the matched half samples are routinely examined to help validate the results from the full samples. Normally, the two indicators of change replicate closely.

Therefore, it was judged unlikely that the apparent decline in 2008 and sharp increase in 2009 for 10th-graders are accurate characterizations of the total populations. Thus, the 2008 10th-grade data points are omitted in the figures and tables. However, the 1-year change score was calculated utilizing the matched half sample of schools participating in both 2008 and 2009, and it was noted that the change is not significant. Their results should be relatively unaffected by schools entering and leaving the sample each year. Importantly, these adjusted change scores bring the 10th-grade change data much more into line with what is observed to be occurring in the other two grades.

For more information, please see:

Johnston, L.D., O'Malley, P.M., Bachman, J.G., Schulenberg, J.E., and Miech, R.A. (2014). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2013: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

Information about MTF is available online at http://www.nida.nih.gov/DrugPages/MTF.html and http://monitoringthefuture.org.

Agency Contact:
Meena Karithanom
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Phone: (301) 594-6125
E-mail: karithanommr@nida.nih.gov

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National Assessment of Educational Progress

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a series of cross-sectional studies initially implemented in 1969 to assess the educational achievement of U.S. students and monitor changes in those achievements. In the main national NAEP, a nationally representative sample of students is assessed at grades 4, 8, and 12 in various academic subjects. The assessments are based on frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). Assessment items include both multiple-choice and constructed-response (requiring written answers) items. Average scores are reported for the nation, for participating states and jurisdictions, and for subgroups of the population. From 1990 until 2001, main NAEP was conducted for states and other jurisdictions that chose to participate. In 2002, under the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, all states began to participate in main NAEP, and an aggregate of all state samples replaced the separate national sample.

Mathematics assessments were administered in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. In 2005, NAGB called for the development of a new mathematics framework. The revisions made to the mathematics framework for the 2005 assessment were intended to reflect recent curricular emphases and better assess the specific objectives for students at each grade level. For grades 4 and 8, comparisons over time can be made among the assessments prior to and after the implementation of the 2005 framework. The changes to the grade 12 assessment were too drastic to allow the results to be directly compared with previous years. The changes to the grade 12 assessment included adding more questions on algebra, data analysis, and probability to reflect changes in high school mathematics standards and coursework, as well as the merging of the measurement and geometry content areas. The reporting scale for grade 12 mathematics was changed from 0–500 to 0–300. For more information regarding the 2005 mathematics framework revisions, see http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/mathematics/frameworkcomparison.asp.

Reading assessments were administered in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. In 2009, a new framework was developed for the 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-grade NAEP reading assessments. Both a content alignment study and a reading trend, or bridge, study were conducted to determine if the "new" assessment was comparable to the "old" assessment. Overall, the results of the special analyses suggested that the old and new assessments were similar in terms of their item and scale characteristics and the results they produced for important demographic groups of students. Thus, it was determined that the results of the 2009 reading assessment could still be compared to those from earlier assessment years, thereby maintaining the trend lines first established in 1992. For more information regarding the 2009 reading framework revisions, see http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading/whatmeasure.asp.

Information about NAEP is available online at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard.

Agency Contact:
Arnold Goldstein
Assessments Division
Reporting and Dissemination Branch
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street NW
Washington, DC 2006
E-mail: arnold.goldstein@ed.gov

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National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System

The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) annually collects case-level data on reports alleging child abuse and neglect, as well as the results of these reports, from state child protective services (CPS) agencies. The mandate for NCANDS is based on the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended in 1988, which directed the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a national data collection and analysis program that would make available state child abuse and neglect reporting information. HHS responded by establishing NCANDS as a voluntary, national reporting system. In 1992, HHS produced its first NCANDS report based on data from 1990. The annual data report Child Maltreatment evolved from that initial report.

During the early years, states provided aggregated data on key indicators of reporting of alleged child maltreatment. Starting with the 1993 data year, states voluntarily began to submit case-level data. For a number of years, states provided both data sets, but starting with data year 2000, the case-level data set became the primary source of data for the annual report. In 1996, CAPTA was amended to require all states that receive funds from the Basic State Grant program to work with the Secretary of HHS to provide specific data, to the extent practicable, on children who had been maltreated. The NCANDS data elements were revised to meet these requirements beginning with the submission of 1998 data.

Currently, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico submit data to NCANDS. States submit case-level data by constructing an electronic file of child-specific records for each report of alleged child abuse and neglect that received a CPS response. Only completed reports that resulted in a disposition (or finding) as an outcome of the CPS response during the reporting year were submitted in each state's data file. The data submission containing these case-level data is called the Child File.

The Child File is supplemented by agency-level aggregate statistics in a separate data submission called the Agency File. The Agency File contains data that are not reportable at the child-specific level and often are gathered from agencies that are external to CPS. States are asked to submit both the Child File and the Agency File each year. States that are not able to submit case-level data in the Child File submit an aggregate-only data file called the Summary Data Component (SDC).

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), (42 U.S.C. §5101), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L.111–320), retained the existing definition of child abuse and neglect as, at a minimum:

Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act, which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.

Each state defines the types of child abuse and neglect in state statute and policy. CPS agencies determine the appropriate response for the alleged maltreatment based on those statutes and policies. The most common response is an investigation. The result of an investigation response is a determination (also known as a disposition) about the alleged child maltreatment.

In NCANDS, a victim is defined as a child for whom the state determined at least one maltreatment was substantiated or indicated and for whom a disposition of substantiated, indicated, or alternative response victim was assigned. It is important to note that a child may be a victim in one report and a nonvictim in another report. Substantiation is a case determination that concludes that the allegation of maltreatment or risk of maltreatment is supported by state law or policy. "Indicated" is a case determination that concludes that although maltreatment cannot be substantiated by state law or policy, there is reason to suspect that the child may have been maltreated or was at risk of maltreatment. Some states are also using an alternative approach, which may be called alternative response, family assessment response (FAR), or differential response (DR). Cases assigned this response often include early determinations that the children have a low risk of maltreatment. This response usually includes the voluntary acceptance of CPS services and the mutual agreement of family needs. Such cases do not usually make a specific determination of the allegation of maltreatment. However, in cases where services are required by the agency rather than provided solely on a voluntary basis, some states also use the concept of a victim. While in general, families who are assigned to an alternative response do not receive a finding on the allegations, in this report the term disposition is used for the determinations of both investigation and alternative responses. Each state that uses alternative response decides how to map its codes for these programs to the NCANDS codes. "Alternative response victim" is a response other than an investigation that determines that a child was a victim of maltreatment.

State statutes also establish the level of evidence needed to determine a disposition of substantiated or indicated. The local child protective services (CPS) agencies respond to the safety needs of the children who are the subjects of child maltreatment reports based on these state definitions and requirements for levels of evidence.

Data collected by NCANDS are a critical source of information for many publications, reports, and activities of the Federal government and other groups. An annual report on child welfare outcomes includes context and outcome data on safety based on state submissions to NCANDS. NCANDS data have been incorporated into the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR), which ensure conformity with state plan requirements in titles IV–B and IV–E of the Social Security Act.

Rates are based on the number of states submitting data to NCANDS each year; states include the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Information about NCANDS is available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/child-maltreatment.

Agency Contact:
Kurt Heisler
Administration on Children, Youth, and Families
Administration for Children and Families
E-mail: kurt.heisler@acf.hhs.gov

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National Crime Victimization Survey

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the Nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization. The NCVS collects information on nonfatal victimizations, reported and not reported to the police, against persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. The sample for 2013, the most recent year, was about 91,000 households including about 160,000 persons ages 12 and older interviewed during the year. Sample households are chosen using a multistage stratified sample design. All household members ages 12 and older in selected households are interviewed to obtain information on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey measures the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft for the population as a whole, as well as for segments of the population such as adolescents and members of various racial and gender groups. Either in person or by telephone, victims are also asked whether they reported the incident to the police. In instances of personal violent crimes, they are asked about the characteristics of the perpetrator. The response rate for 2013 was 84 percent of eligible households and 88 percent of eligible individuals. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and to provide their characteristics and those of violent offenders. It has been ongoing since 1973 and was redesigned in 1992.

Due to changes in survey methodology in 2006 that mainly affected rural areas, national-level estimates were not comparable to estimates based on NCVS data from previous years. The U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), and a panel of outside experts extensively reviewed the 2006 NCVS data and determined that there was a break in series between 2006 and previous years that prevented annual comparison of criminal victimization at the national level. This was mainly the result of three major changes in the survey methodology: (1) introducing a new sample to account for shifts in population and location of households that occur over time; (2) incorporating responses from households that were in the survey for the first time; and (3) using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). These changes were reversed in 2007, suggesting that the 2006 findings represent a temporary anomaly in the data.

Information about the NCVS is available online at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245.

Agency Contact:
Barbara Oudekerk
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Phone: (202) 616-3904

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National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics is a series of cross-sectional nationally representative surveys. NHANES uses a complex stratified, multistage probability sampling design. The survey is designed to assess the health and nutritional status of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of adults and children in the United States. NHANES is unique in that it combines household interviews and physical examinations. Interviewers obtain information on demographic characteristics and health conditions through self-reports (or reports from parents for those less than 16 years of age). Clinical examinations and selected medical and laboratory tests are conducted in mobile examination centers (MECs). Oversampling of certain subgroups has occurred at different times to increase the statistical reliability and precision of estimates.

Periodic surveys were conducted from 1971–1974 (NHANES I), from 1976–1980 (NHANES II), and from 1988–1994 (NHANES III). Beginning in 1999, NHANES became a continuous survey. Data are currently released for two years combined in order to protect confidentiality and in order to produce stable estimates. It is sometimes necessary to combine four or more years of data to make estimates for subgroups. For more information on the NHANES data, see http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/analytic_guidelines_11_12.pdf.

NHANES data are used to calculate Healthy Eating Index-2010 scores. Participants in NHANES provide information on their dietary intake via an interviewer-administered 24-hour recall of all foods and beverages consumed. Data from the 2007–2008 survey cycle were used to calculate the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010) component scores shown in this edition of America's Children. The HEI-2010 has been computed for all individuals age 2 years and older because the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are not applicable to younger children or infants. Breast-fed children were excluded because breast milk intake was not quantified.

Information about NHANES is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm, and information about the Healthy Eating Index-2010 is available at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.

Agency Contacts:
For more information on:
The Healthy Eating Index, contact:
Hazel Hiza
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Phone: (703) 305-2979
E-mail: Hazel.Hiza@cnpp.usda.gov

Lead and cotinine, contact:
Debra Brody
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4116
E-mail: Debra.Brody@cdc.gov

Obesity, contact:
Cynthia Ogden
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4405
E-mail: Cynthia.Ogden@cdc.gov

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National Health Interview Survey

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NHIS monitors the health of the U.S. population through the collection and analysis of data on a broad range of topics. NHIS is a continuing nationwide sample survey of the noninstitutionalized civilian population in the United States, excluding patients in long-term care facilities, persons on active duty with the Armed Forces, prisoners, and U.S. nationals living in foreign countries. Data are collected through personal household interviews by trained interviewers. Prior to 1997, a paper-and-pencil questionnaire format was used. From 1997 onward, computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) was used. Interviewers obtain information on personal and demographic characteristics, including race and ethnicity, through self-reports or reports by a member of the household. Interviewers also collect data on illnesses, injuries, impairments, chronic conditions, activity limitation caused by chronic conditions, utilization of health services, and other health topics. Each year the survey is reviewed and special topics are added or deleted. For most health topics, the survey collects data over an entire year.

The NHIS sample is designed to estimate the national prevalence of health conditions, health service utilization, and health behaviors of the noninstitutionalized civilian population of the United States, and includes an oversample of Black, Hispanic, and since 2006, Asian persons. The household response rate for the ongoing part of the survey has ranged between 80 and 98 percent over the years. The NHIS core questionnaire items are revised about every 10 to 15 years, most recently in 1997. Estimates beginning in 1997 are likely to vary slightly from those for previous years. The sample for the NHIS is redesigned and redrawn about every 10 years to better measure the changing U.S. population and to meet new survey objectives. A new sample design was implemented in 2006. In 2013, interviewers collected information for 41,335 households containing 104,520 persons (including 26,279 children under the age of 18) in 42,321 families. In 2013 additional information was collected for 12,860 children under 18 years of age in the sample child section of the instrument. For background and health data for children, see:

Bloom, B., Jones, L.I., and Freeman, G. (2013). Summary health statistics for U.S. children: National Health Interview Survey, 2012. Vital Health Statistics, 10(258). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Information about NHIS is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.

Agency Contacts:
For more information on:
Health insurance and access to care, contact:
Robin A. Cohen
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4152
E-mail: RCohen@cdc.gov

Activity limitation, contact:
Patricia Pastor
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4422
E-mail: PPastor@cdc.gov

Asthma, contact:
Lara Akinbami
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4306
E-mail: LAkinbami@cdc.gov

Emotional and behavioral difficulties, contact:
Shelli Avenevoli
National Institute of Mental Health
Phone: (301) 443-8316
E-mail: avenevos@mail.nih.gov

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National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NHAMCS collects data on ambulatory care visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs), outpatient departments (OPDs), and ambulatory surgery locations (starting in 2009). Data are abstracted from medical records by U.S. Census Bureau field representatives. Patient characteristics collected include age, sex, race, ethnicity, and expected source of payment. Visit characteristics collected include reasons for visit, diagnoses, tests and procedures, medications, providers seen, and disposition. Data are also collected on selected hospital characteristics, such as trauma level and electronic health record (EHR) capabilities. Annual data collection began in 1992.

The survey is a nationally representative sample of in-person visits to EDs, OPDs, and ambulatory surgery locations of nonfederal, short-stay and general hospitals. The NHAMCS uses a four-stage probability sample design, involving samples of geographic primary sampling units (PSUs), hospitals within PSUs, clinics within OPDs, and patient visits within EDs, clinics, and ambulatory surgery locations.

The hospital sample consists of approximately 500 hospitals. In 2011, 31,084 ED patient record forms were completed and the ED hospital response rate was 87 percent.

For background information, see:

McCaig, L.F., and McLemore, T. (1994). Plan and operation of the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Vital and Health Statistics 1(34). Hyattsville MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_01/sr01_034acc.pdf.

Information about NHAMCS is available on the National Health Care Survey (NHCS) Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhcs.htm or the Ambulatory Health Care Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd.htm.

Agency Contact:
Holly Hedegaard, MD
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4460

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National Household Education Survey

The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) is a data collection system that is designed to address a wide range of education-related issues. Surveys have been conducted in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2012. NHES targets specific populations for detailed data collection. It is intended to provide more detailed data on the topics and populations of interest than are collected through supplements to other household surveys.

The 1991 NHES included a survey on early childhood program participation. Investigators screened approximately 60,000 households to identify a sample of about 14,000 children, ages 3–8. They interviewed parents in order to collect information about these children's educational activities and the role of the family in the children's learning. In 1993, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) fielded a school readiness survey in which parents of approximately 11,000 children age 3 through 2nd grade were asked about their children's experiences in early childhood programs, developmental level, school adjustment and related problems, early primary school experiences, general health and nutrition status, home activities, and family characteristics, including family stability and economic risk factors. In 1995, NCES also fielded an early childhood program participation survey, similar to that of 1991. It entailed screening approximately 44,000 households and interviewing 14,000 parents of children from birth through 3rd grade. In 1996, NCES fielded a survey of parent and family involvement in education, interviewing nearly 21,000 parents of children in grades 3 through 12. About 8,000 youth in grades 6 through 12 were also interviewed about their community service and civic involvement. The 1999 NHES was designed to collect end-of-the-decade estimates of key indicators collected in previous NHES surveys and to collect data from children and their parents about plans for the child's education after high school. Approximately 60,000 households were screened for a total of about 31,000 interviews with parents of children from birth through grade 12 (including about 6,900 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) and adults age 16 or older not enrolled in grade 12 or below.

Three surveys were fielded as part of the 2001 NHES. The Early Childhood Program Participation survey was similar in content to the 1995 collection and collected data about the education of 7,000 prekindergarten children ranging in age from birth to age 6. The Before and After-School Programs and Activities Survey collected data about nonparental care arrangements and educational activities in which children participate before and after school. Data were collected for approximately 10,000 kindergartners through 8th-graders. The third survey fielded in 2001 was the Adult Education and Lifelong Learning survey, which gathered data about the formal and informal educational activities of 11,000 adults.

The 2005 NHES included surveys that covered early childhood program participation and after-school programs and activities. Data were collected from parents of about 7,200 children for the Early Childhood Program Participation Survey and from parents of nearly 11,700 children for the After-School Programs and Activities Survey. These surveys were substantially similar to the surveys conducted in 2001, with the exceptions that the Early Childhood Program Participation Survey and After-School Programs and Activities Survey did not collect information about before-school care for school-age children.

The 2007 NHES fielded the Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey. This survey was similar in design and content to the 2003 collection. New features added to the Parent and Family Involvement Survey were questions about supplemental education services provided by schools and school districts (including use of and satisfaction with such services), as well as questions to efficiently identify the school attended by the sampled students. For the Parent and Family Involvement Survey, interviews were completed with parents of 10,680 sampled children in kindergarten through 12th grade, including 10,370 students enrolled in public or private schools and 310 homeschooled children.

There was a 5-year gap in data collection between 2007 and 2012, when NHES switched from a telephone survey to a mail survey. Data collection for NHES:2012 was completed in summer 2012. Information about the 2012 NHES Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (PFI) is available in the First Look report, Parent and Family Involvement in Education, From the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012 (NCES 2013-028).

Information about the NHES is available online at http://nces.ed.gov/nhes.

Agency Contact:
Andrew Zukerberg
Sample Surveys Division
National Center for Education Statistics
555 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20208
E-mail: andrew.zukerberg@ed.gov

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National Immunization Survey

The National Immunization Survey (NIS) includes telephone surveys used to monitor vaccination coverage among children 19–35 months. Data collection for the first survey began in April 1994 to assess vaccination coverage after measles outbreaks in the early 1990s. Similar to the NIS, the NIS-Teen was launched in 2006. The target population for the NIS-Teen is adolescents 13–17 years old living in the United States at the time of the interview.

The NIS provides current household, population-based, state, and selected local area estimates of vaccination coverage among children and adolescents using a standard survey methodology. The survey collects data through telephone interviews with parents or guardians in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and some U.S. territories. Landline and cell phone numbers are randomly selected and called to enroll one or more age-eligible child or adolescent from the household. The parents and guardians of eligible children are asked during the interview for the names of their children's vaccination providers and permission to contact them. With this permission, a questionnaire is mailed to each child's vaccination provider(s) to collect the information on the types of vaccinations, number of doses, dates of administration, and other administrative data about the health care facility. Estimates of vaccination coverage are determined for vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and children and adolescents are classified as being up-to-date based on the ACIP-recommended numbers of doses for each vaccine.

Information about the NIS is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/nis/index.html.

Agency Contact:
James A. Singleton, Ph.D.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Phone: (404) 639-8560
E-mail: JSingleton@cdc.gov

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National Linked Files of Live Births and Infant Deaths

The National Linked File of Live Births and Infant Deaths is a data file for research on infant mortality. Beginning with the 1995 data, this file is produced in two formats. The file is released first as a period data file and later as a cohort file. In the birth cohort format, it includes linked vital records for infants born in a given year who died in that calendar year or the next year, before their first birthday. In the period format, the numerator consists of all infant deaths occurring in one year, with deaths linked to the corresponding birth certificates from that year or the previous year. The linked file includes all the variables on the national natality file, as well as medical information reported for the same infant on the death record and the age of the infant at death. The use of linked files prevents discrepancies in the reporting of race between the birth and infant death certificates. National linked files are available starting with the birth cohort of 1983. No linked file was produced for the 1992 through 1994 data years. Match completeness for each of the birth cohort files is 98–99 percent.

For more information, see:

Prager, K. (1994). Infant mortality by birthweight and other characteristics: United States, 1985 birth cohort. Vital and Health Statistics, 20(24). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Mathews, T.J., and MacDorman, M.F. (2013). Infant mortality statistics from the 2010 period linked birth/infant death data set. National Vital Statistics Reports, 62(8). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Information about the National Linked File of Live Births and Infant Deaths is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/linked.htm.

Agency contact:
T.J. Mathews
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4363
E-mail: TMathews@cdc.gov

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National Survey on Drug Use and Health

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is sponsored by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The CBHSQ (formerly the Office of Applied Studies [OAS]) is the data collection agency.

NSDUH has been conducted since 1971 and serves as the primary source of information on the prevalence and incidence of illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use in the civilian, noninstitutionalized population ages 12 and over in the United States. Information about substance abuse and dependence, mental health problems, and receipt of substance abuse and mental health treatment is also included.

The survey covers residents of households (living in houses/townhouses, apartments, and condominiums, etc.), persons in noninstitutional group quarters (e.g., shelters, rooming/boarding houses, college dormitories, migratory workers' camps, and halfway houses), and civilians living on military bases. Persons excluded from the survey include homeless people who do not use shelters, active military personnel, and residents of institutional group quarters.

NSDUH data are representative not only nationally but also in each state. The survey design includes an independent, multistage area probability sample for each state and the District of Columbia to accommodate state estimates of substance use and mental health. The survey design also oversamples youths and young adults. The unit analysis is at the person level. The mode of data collection is through in-person interviews with sampled persons. Computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) methods, including audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI), are used to provide a private and confidential setting to complete the interview. Over 67,000 interviews are conducted each year using these methods.

Public-use data files for 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988, and annually from 1990 to the present are currently available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) and the archive's online data analysis system (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/SAMHDA/).

Information about NSDUH is available online at http://www.samhsa.gov/data/population-data-nsduh.

Agency Contact:
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Phone: Data Request Line at (240) 276-1212
E-mail: See http://www.samhsa.gov/data/request-data-ask-a-question

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National Vital Statistics System

Through the National Vital Statistics System, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) collects and publishes data on births and deaths in the United States. NCHS obtains information on births and deaths from the registration offices of all states, New York City, and the District of Columbia.

Demographic information on birth certificates, such as race and ethnicity, is provided by the mother at the time of birth. Hospital records provide the base for information on birthweight, while funeral directors and family members provide demographic information on death certificates. Medical certification of cause of death is provided by a physician, medical examiner, or coroner.

Information on Hispanic origin. The number of states gathering information on births to parents of Hispanic origin has increased gradually since 1980–1981, when 22 states included this information on birth certificates. By 1993, the Hispanic origin of the mother was reported on birth certificates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Similarly, mortality data by Hispanic origin of decedent have become more complete over time. In 1997, Hispanic origin was reported on death certificates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Population denominators. The natality and mortality rates shown in this report have been revised, based on populations consistent with the Censuses in 2000 and 2010. Prior to America's Children, 2003, rates were based on populations estimated from the 1990 Census. The population estimates for 1990–2013 can be found online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race.htm. Because of the gradual implementation of the revised Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Standards on Race and Ethnicity among the vital statistics reporting areas, it was necessary to create population estimates for 1991–2013 that were consistent with the race categories used in the 1990 Census.

Detailed information on the methodologies used to develop the revised populations, including the populations for birth rates for teenagers and birth rates for unmarried teenagers, is presented in several publications.

For more information about these methodologies, see:

Ventura, S.J., Hamilton, B.E., Sutton, P.D. (2003). Revised birth and fertility rates for the United States, 2000 and 2001. National Vital Statistics Reports, 51(4). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Hamilton, B.E., Sutton, P.D., and Ventura, S.J. (2003). Revised birth and fertility rates for the 1990s: United States, and new rates for Hispanic populations, 2000 and 2001. National Vital Statistics Reports, 51(12). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

National Center for Health Statistics. (2002). Unpublished estimates of the April 1, 2000, United States population by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin, prepared under a collaborative arrangement with the U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race.htm.

Ingram, D.D., Weed, J.A., Parker, J.D., Hamilton, B.E., Schenker, N., Arias, E., and Madans, J. (2003). U.S. Census 2000 population with bridged race categories. Vital Health Statistics, 2(135). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Anderson, R.N., and Arias, E. (2003). The effect of revised populations on mortality statistics for the United States, 2000. National Vital Statistics Reports, 51(9). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

For more information on national natality and mortality data, see:

National Center for Health Statistics. (2014). User guide to the 2013 natality public use file. Hyattsville, MD: Author. Available online at ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/Dataset_Documentation/DVS/natality/UserGuide2013.pdf

National Center for Health Statistics. (2007). Detailed technical notes. United States, 2005, natality. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/Dataset_Documentation/DVS/natality/UserGuide2005.pdf.

National Center for Health Statistics. (2004). Technical appendix. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1999, vol. II, mortality, part A. Hyattsville, MD: Author. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/statab/techap99.pdf.

Information about the National Vital Statistics System is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm.

Agency Contacts:
For more information on:
Births to unmarried women, contact:
Sally Curtin
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4142
E-mail: SCurtin@cdc.gov

Births to adolescents, contact:
Brady Hamilton
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4653
E-mail: BHamilton@cdc.gov

Preterm births, low birthweight, contact:
Joyce Martin
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4362
E-mail: JMartin@cdc.gov

Child mortality, contact:
Donna Hoyert
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4279
Email: DHoyert@cdc.gov

Adolescent mortality, contact:
Holly Hedegaard
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4460
E-mail: HHedegaard@cdc.gov

Infant mortality, contact:
T.J. Mathews
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4363
E-mail: TMathews@cdc.gov

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Safe Drinking Water Information System

The Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) is the national regulatory compliance database for the drinking water program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). SDWIS includes information on the nation's 160,000 public water systems and data submitted by states and EPA regions in conformance with reporting requirements established by statute, regulation, and guidance.

EPA sets national standards for drinking water. These requirements take three forms: maximum contaminant levels (MCLs, the maximum allowable level of a specific contaminant in drinking water), treatment techniques (specific methods that facilities must follow to remove certain contaminants), and monitoring and reporting requirements (schedules that utilities must follow to report testing results). States report any violations of these three types of standards to the EPA.

Water systems must monitor for contaminant levels on fixed schedules and report to the EPA when a maximum contaminant level has been exceeded. States must also report when systems fail to meet specified treatment techniques. More information about the maximum contaminant levels can be found online at http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm.

EPA sets minimum monitoring schedules that drinking water systems must follow. These minimum monitoring schedules (states may require systems to monitor more frequently) vary by the type and size of the drinking water system, by the source water (surface water or ground water), and by contaminant. For example, at a minimum, all drinking water systems regularly monitor nitrate, community water systems that serve surface water monitor daily for turbidity, and ground water systems may monitor inorganic contaminants every 9 years.

SDWIS includes data on the total population served by each public water system and the state in which the public water system is located. However, SDWIS does not include the number of children served. The fractions of the population served by noncompliant public water systems in each state were estimated using the total population served by violating community water systems divided by the total population served by all community water systems. The numbers of children served by violating public water systems in each state were estimated by multiplying the fraction of the population served by violating public water systems by the number of children (ages 0–17) in the state.

Information about SDWIS is available online at http://water.epa.gov/scitech/datait/databases/drink/sdwisfed/index.cfm.

Agency Contact:
Renee Morris
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (202) 564-8037
E-mail: morris.renee@epa.gov

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Survey of Income and Program Participation

Core survey and topical modules. Implemented by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1984, the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a continuous series of national longitudinal panels, with a sample size ranging from approximately 14,000 to 36,700 interviewed households. The duration of each panel ranges from 2 years to 4 years, with household interviews every 4 months.

The SIPP collects detailed information on income, labor force participation, participation in government assistance programs, and general demographic characteristics in order to measure the effectiveness of existing government programs, estimate future costs and coverage of government programs, and provide statistics on the distribution of income in America. In addition, topical modules provide detailed information on a variety of subjects, including health insurance, child care, adult and child well-being, marital and fertility history, and education and training. The U.S. Census Bureau releases cross-sectional, topical modules and longitudinal reports and data files. In 1996, the SIPP questionnaire was redesigned to include a new 4-year panel sample design and the computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) method. The 2004 panel was a 3-year panel sample, and a new 2008 panel is currently in the field and is anticipated to cover a 3-year period.

Information about the SIPP is available online at http://www.census.gov/sipp.

Agency Contact:
U.S. Census Customer Service Center
http://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

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Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) was developed in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States. The YRBSS includes national, state, and local school-based surveys of representative samples of 9th- through 12th-grade students. These surveys are conducted every 2 years, usually during the spring semester. The national survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides data representative of high school students in public and private schools in the United States. The state and local surveys, conducted by departments of health and education, typically provide data representative of public high school students in each state or local school district.

The sampling frame for the 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) consisted of all public and private schools with students in at least one of grades 9–12 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. A three-stage cluster sample design produced a nationally representative sample of students in grades 9–12 who attend public and private schools. All students in selected classes were eligible to participate. Schools, classes, and students that refused to participate were not replaced. For the 2013 national YRBS, 13,583 questionnaires were completed in 148 schools. The school response rate was 77 percent, and the student response rate was 88 percent. The school response rate multiplied by the student response rate produced an overall response rate of 68 percent.

Survey procedures for the national, state, and local surveys were designed to protect students' privacy by allowing for anonymous and voluntary participation. Before survey administration, local parental permission procedures were followed. Students completed the self-administered questionnaire during one class period and recorded their responses directly on a computer-scannable booklet or answer sheet.

Information about the YRBS and the YRBSS is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs.

Agency Contact:
Laura Kann|
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Phone: (404) 718-8132
E-mail: lkk1@cdc.gov

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