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America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2020

Appendix B: Data Source Descriptions

Air Quality System

The Air Quality System (AQS) contains ambient air pollution data collected by the 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, the Commonwealth of 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. The AQS also contains meteorological data, descriptive information about each monitoring station (including its geographic location and operator), and data quality assurance/quality control information. Data are available from AQS dating back to 1957. The system is administered by the EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Outreach and Information Division, 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 (3rd ed.) at https://www.epa.gov/ace (Indicator E1) for further discussion.

Information about the AQS is available online at https://www.epa.gov/outdoor-air-quality-data.

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 or the Internet; however, households that do not respond by mail or the Internet may be contacted using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), or both.

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

Agency Contact:
U.S. Census Bureau Customer Service Center
https://ask.census.gov
Phone: 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 60,000 housing units plus newly constructed units was surveyed during the period 1985 to 2013, and a new sample was drawn in 2015. 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 https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html.

Agency Contact:
Shawn Bucholtz
Office of Policy Development and Research
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Phone: 202-402-5538
E-mail: Shawn.J.Bucholtz@hud.gov

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Civil Rights Data Collection

The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has surveyed the nation's public elementary and secondary schools since 1968. The survey was first known as the OCR Elementary and Secondary School Survey; in 2004, it was renamed the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The survey collects data on school discipline, access to and participation in high-level mathematics and science courses, teacher characteristics, school finances, and other school characteristics. These data are reported by race/ethnicity, sex, and disability.

Data in the survey are collected pursuant to 34 C.F.R. Section 100.6(b) of the U.S. Department of Education regulation implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The requirements are also incorporated by reference in department regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. School, district, state, and national data are currently available. Data from individual public schools and districts are used to generate national and state data.

The CRDC has generally been conducted biennially in each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. The 2009–10 CRDC was collected from a sample of approximately 7,000 school districts and over 72,000 schools in those districts. It had two parts: part 1 contained beginning-of-year "snapshot" data, and part 2 contained cumulative, or end-of-year, data.

The 2011–12 and 2013–14 CRDC were surveys of all public school schools and school districts in the nation. The 2011–12 survey collected data from approximately 16,500 school districts and 97,000 schools; the 2013–14 survey collected data from approximately 16,800 school districts and 95,500 schools.

Further information on the CRDC may be obtained from
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202
Email: OCR@ed.gov
https://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/data.html

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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 civilian noninstitutionalized population, including estimates of unemployment released every month by the 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 Design and Methodology: Current Population Survey (Technical Paper 66, October 2006) available online at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/technical-documentation/complete.html.

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 U.S. Census Bureau implemented an approach shown to improve the accuracy of health insurance coverage measurement. For a list of references, please see the U.S. Census Bureau Director's statement on the improved set of health insurance coverage questions at https://census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2014/cb14-67.html. Due to these changes, data for the 2014 CPS ASEC are not comparable with 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.

There was an implementation of an updated processing system for the 2018 CPS ASEC. For more information, see technical documentation at https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/demo/datasets/income-poverty/time-series/data-extracts/2018/cps-asec-bridge-file/2018-asec-bridge-file-documentation.pdf and information on the updated processing system at https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-asec-design.html. Due to these changes, data for the 2018 CPS ASEC are not comparable with data from earlier years.

Food Security Supplement. The food security supplement contains a systematic set of questions validated as measures of the 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 https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/. Information about the CPS is available online at https://www.census.gov/cps.

Agency Contacts:
For more information on:

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

Education (higher education):
Cris de Brey
National Center for Education Statistics
Phone: (202) 245-8419
E-mail: Cristobal.DeBrey@ed.gov

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

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

Food security:
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:
U.S. Census Customer Service Center
https://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

Secure parental employment and youth neither enrolled in school nor working:
Lisa Williamson
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Phone: (202) 691-6396
Email: williamson.lisa@bls.gov

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Decennial Census Data

The U.S. 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 "census 2000" in the search.

Date:

  • April 1, 2000 (Census Day) is the reference date for Census 2000.
  • April 1, 2010 (Census Day) is the reference date for the 2010 Census.

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 https://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
https://ask.census.gov
Phone: 1-800-923-8282

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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 2019 survey is the 29th 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, one or more schools in each area, and 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 2019 survey included a total of 42,500 students from 396 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 was the first time there was a need to adjust the data from a survey in the 43 years of the study; fortunately, only a single grade was affected.

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 10th-grade sample from 2008 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 in 2009, there were unusually large increases of marijuana use in two regions of the country, the West and the South, raising the possibility that relatively few schools accounted for the increase in that year. Further, there was 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 use, 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 the 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 10th-grade data points from 2008 are omitted in the figures and tables. However, the 1-year change score was calculated using the matched half sample of schools participating in both 2008 and 2009, and it was noted that the change was 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. (2010). Monitoring the future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2009: Volume I, Secondary school students (NIH Publication No. 10-7584). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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

Agency Contact:
Jessica Cotto
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Phone: (301) 480-2816
E-mail: jessica.cotto@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 assessment is based on frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). It includes both multiple-choice items and constructed-response items (those requiring written answers). Results are reported in two ways: by average score and by achievement level. Average scores are reported for the nation, participating states and jurisdictions, and subgroups of the population. Percentages of students performing at or above three achievement levels (Basic, Proficient, and Advanced) are also reported for these groups.

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. (School district-level assessments—under the Trial Urban District Assessment program—also began in 2002.)

Results are available for the mathematics assessments administered in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. 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. The revised mathematics framework focuses on two dimensions: mathematical content and cognitive demand. By considering these two dimensions for each item in the assessment, the framework ensures that NAEP assesses an appropriate balance of content, as well as a variety of ways of knowing and doing mathematics. Since the 2005 changes to the mathematics framework were minimal for Grades 4 and 8, comparisons over time can be made between assessments conducted before and after the framework's implementation for these grades. The changes that the 2005 framework made to the Grade 12 assessment, however, were too drastic to allow Grade 12 results from before and after implementation to be directly compared. These changes included adding more questions on algebra, data analysis, and probability to reflect changes in high school mathematics standards and coursework; merging the measurement and geometry content areas; and changing the reporting scale from 0–500 to 0–300. For more information regarding the 2005 mathematics framework revisions, see https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/mathematics/frameworkcomparison.asp.

Results are available for the reading assessments administered in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. 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 reading assessment was comparable with the prior assessment. Overall, the results of the special analyses suggested that the 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 https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/reading/whatmeasure.asp.

NAEP Long-Term Trend Assessments. In addition to conducting the main assessments, NAEP also conducts long-term trend assessments. Long-term trend assessments provide an opportunity to observe the educational progress in reading and mathematics of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds since the early 1970s. The long-term trend reading assessment measures students' reading comprehension skills using an array of passages that vary by text types and length. The assessment was designed to measure students' ability to locate specific information in the text provided; make inferences across a passage to provide an explanation; and identify the main idea in the text. The NAEP long-term trend assessment in mathematics measures knowledge of mathematical facts; ability to carry out computations using paper and pencil; knowledge of basic formulas, such as those applied in geometric settings; and the ability to apply mathematics to skills of daily life, such as those involving time and money.

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

Agency Contact:
Daniel McGrath
Reporting and Dissemination Branch
Assessments Division
National Center for Education Statistics
550 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20202
E-mail: daniel.mcgrath@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 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 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 of the system, 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 datasets, but starting with data year 2000, the case-level dataset became the primary source of data for the annual report. In 1996, CAPTA was amended to require that all states receiving funds from the Basic State Grant program 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 child protective services response. Only completed reports that resulted in a disposition (or finding) as an outcome of the child protective services 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 child protective services. States are asked to submit both the Child File and the Agency File each year. Prior to 2012, states that were not able to submit case-level data in the Child File submitted an aggregate-only data file called the Summary Data Component (SDC). When all the states were able to report case-level data—that is, as of the 2012 data collection—the SDC was discontinued.

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 that 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. Child protective services 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 or indicated 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.

State statutes also establish the level of evidence needed to determine a disposition of substantiated or indicated. The local child protective services 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, child welfare personnel, researchers, 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, 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 the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Information about NCANDS is available online at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/research-data-technology/reporting-systems/ncands.

Agency Contact:
Dori Sneddon
Administration on Children, Youth, and Families
Administration for Children and Families
E-mail: dori.sneddon@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. In 2018, there were 151,055 household interviews. Overall, 73% of eligible households completed an interview. Within participating households, 242,928 persons completed an interview in 2018, representing an 82% response rate among eligible persons from responding households. Sample households are chosen using a multistage stratified sample design. All household members age 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. Victims are also asked (either in person or by telephone) whether they reported the incident to the police. In instances of personal violent crimes, victims are asked about the characteristics of the perpetrator.

The NCVS is the largest national forum for allowing victims the opportunity 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, national-level estimates were not comparable with estimates based on NCVS data from previous years. See Criminal Victimization, 2006, https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=765, for more information on the redesigned methodology. In 2016, the NCVS sample was redesigned, and 2016 estimates among youth are not comparable with estimates from other years.

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

Agency Contact:
Rachel E. Morgan
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Phone: 202-616-1707
Email: rachel.morgan@usdoj.gov

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National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

(NHANES) is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations. NHANES is a major program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NCHS is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has the responsibility for producing vital and health statistics for the Nation.

The NHANES program began in the early 1960s and has been conducted as a series of surveys focusing on different population groups or health topics. In 1999, the survey became a continuous program that has a changing focus on a variety of health and nutrition measurements to meet emerging needs. The survey examines a nationally representative sample of about 5,000 persons each year. These persons are located in counties across the country, 15 of which are visited each year.

The NHANES interview includes demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related questions. The examination component consists of medical, dental, and physiological measurements, as well as laboratory tests administered by highly trained medical personnel.

Findings from this survey will be used to determine the prevalence of major diseases and risk factors for diseases. Information will be used to assess nutritional status and its association with health promotion and disease prevention. NHANES findings are also the basis for national standards for such measurements as height, weight, and blood pressure. Data from this survey will be used in epidemiological studies and health sciences research, which help develop sound public health policy, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the Nation.

Health interviews are conducted in respondents' homes. Health measurements are performed in specially designed and equipped mobile centers, which travel to locations throughout the country. The study team consists of a physician, medical and health technicians, as well as dietary and health interviewers. Many of the study staff are bilingual (English/Spanish).

An advanced computer system using high-end servers, desktop PCs, and wide-area networking collect and process all of the NHANES data, nearly eliminating the need for paper forms and manual coding operations. This system allows interviewers to use notebook computers with electronic pens. The staff at the mobile center can automatically transmit data into data bases through such devices as digital scales and stadiometers. Touch-sensitive computer screens let respondents enter their own responses to certain sensitive questions in complete privacy. Survey information is available to NCHS staff within 24 hours of collection, which enhances the capability of collecting quality data and increases the speed with which results are released to the public.

In each location, local health and government officials are notified of the upcoming survey. Households in the study area receive a letter from the NCHS Director to introduce the survey. Local media may feature stories about the survey.

NHANES is designed to facilitate and encourage participation. Transportation is provided to and from the mobile center if necessary. Participants receive compensation and a report of medical findings is given to each participant. All information collected in the survey is kept strictly confidential. Privacy is protected by public laws.

Information from NHANES is made available through an extensive series of publications and articles in scientific and technical journals. For data users and researchers throughout the world, survey data are available on the internet and on easy-to-use CD-ROMs.

Research organizations, universities, health care providers, and educators benefit from survey information. Primary data users are federal agencies that collaborated in the design and development of the survey. The National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and CDC are among the agencies that rely upon NHANES to provide data essential for the implementation and evaluation of program activities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and NCHS cooperate in planning and reporting dietary and nutrition information from the survey.

NHANES' partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows continued study of the many important environmental influences on our health.

NHANES' record of important accomplishments is made possible by the thousands of Americans who have participated.

  • Past surveys have provided data to create the growth charts used nationally by pediatricians to evaluate children's growth. The charts have been adapted and adopted worldwide as a reference standard — and have recently been updated using the latest NHANES figures.
  • Blood lead data were instrumental in developing policy to eliminate lead from gasoline and in food and soft drink cans. Recent survey data indicate the policy has been even more effective than originally envisioned, with a decline in elevated blood lead levels of more than 70% since the 1970s.
  • Overweight prevalence figures have led to the proliferation of programs emphasizing diet and exercise, stimulated additional research, and provided a means to track trends in obesity.
  • Data have continued to indicate that undiagnosed diabetes is a significant problem in the United States. Efforts by government and private agencies to increase public awareness, especially among minority populations, have been intensified. These are just a few examples of what survey findings have meant. The current program promises continuing contributions and some new initiatives.
  • Information collected in this survey will help the Food and Drug Administration decide if there is a need to change vitamin and mineral fortification regulations for the Nation's food supply.
  • National programs to reduce hypertension and cholesterol levels continue to depend on NHANES data to steer education and prevention programs toward those at risk and to measure success in curtailing risk factors associated with heart disease, the Nation's number one cause of death.
  • New measures of lung function will further our understanding of respiratory disease and better describe the burden of asthma in the United States.

Because NHANES is now an ongoing program, the information collected contributes to annual estimates in topic areas included in the survey. For small population groups and less prevalent conditions and diseases, data must be accumulated over several years to provide adequate estimates. The new continuous design also allows increased flexibility in survey content.

Results of NHANES benefit people in the United States in important ways. Facts about the distribution of health problems and risk factors in the population give researchers important clues to the causes of disease. Information collected from the current survey is compared with information collected in previous surveys. This allows health planners to detect the extent various health problems and risk factors have changed in the U.S. population over time. By identifying the health care needs of the population, government agencies and private sector organizations can establish policies and plan research, education, and health promotion programs that help improve present health status and will prevent future health problems.

For more information about the National Center for Health Statistics, contact: National Center for Health Statistics Information Dissemination Staff 3311 Toledo Road, MS-P08 Hyattsville, MD 20782-2064

Telephone: 1-800-232-4636 E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov Internet: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs

For more information about the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, you may visit the NHANES website at: https://www.cdc.gov/nhanes.

Citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [May 13, 2020] [https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/continuousnhanes/manuals.aspx?BeginYear=2019].

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National Health Interview Survey

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NHIS monitors the health of the U.S. population by collecting and analyzing data on a broad range of topics. NHIS is a continuing nationwide sample survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in the U.S., 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 for an entire year.

The NHIS sample is designed to estimate the national prevalence of health conditions, health service utilization, and health behaviors of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States, and includes an oversample of Black, Hispanic, and Asian persons (starting in 2006). The household response rate for the ongoing part of the survey has ranged between 70 percent and 98 percent over the years. The NHIS core questionnaire items are revised about every 10 to 15 years, most recently for the 2019 survey. 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. The most recent sample design was implemented in for the 2016 survey. In 2018, interviewers collected information for 72,831 persons, including 8,269 children under age 18 in the Sample Child section of the instrument. Starting with data updates for the 2017 America's Children report, the reliability of survey percentage estimates was assessed using a new method being adopted by NCHS. The new method uses the Clopper-Pearson confidence interval, adapted for complex surveys by Korn-Graubard, to determine if the estimate is unreliable and should be suppressed. This new method was applied to all of the HEALTH8 estimates. The reliability of prior estimates for other indicators was evaluated based on relative standard error.

Information about NHIS is available online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.

For health data for children, see: NCHS. Summary health statistics for U.S. children: National Health Interview Survey. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/shs.htm

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

Activity limitation:
Sheila Franco
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4331
E-mail: SFranco@cdc.gov

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

Emotional and behavioral difficulties:
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). 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. NHAMCS uses a four-stage probability sample design, involving samples of geographic primary sampling units (PSUs); hospitals within PSUs; OPD clinics, EDs, and ambulatory surgery centers; and patient visits within EDs, clinics, and ambulatory surgery locations.

The hospital sample consists of approximately 500 hospitals. Only data from EDs are presented in this report. In 2016, 19,467 ED patient record forms were completed, and the ED hospital response rate was 78 percent. In 2017, 16,709 ED patient record forms were completed, and the ED hospital response rate was 77 percent.

For background information, see:

McCaig, L. F., & 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: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_01/sr01_034acc.pdf.

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

Agency Contact: Holly Hedegaard National Center for Health Statistics Phone: (301) 458-4460 E-mail: HHedegaard@cdc.gov

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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, 2012, and 2016. 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 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 ages 3–7 or in 2nd grade or below 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 a survey on early childhood program participation, 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 3–12. About 8,000 youth in grades 6–12 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. Apprximately 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 children in kindergarten through grade 8. 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 the 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, which was similar in design and content to the Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey fielded in 2003. New features added in 2007 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 2007 Parent and Family Involvement Survey, interviews were completed with parents of 10,680 sampled children in kindergarten through grade 12, including 10,370 students enrolled in public or private schools and 310 homeschooled children.

NHES:2012 and NHES:2016 included the Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey and the Early Childhood Program Participation Survey. The Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey gathered data on students who were enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 or who were homeschooled at equivalent grade levels. Survey questions that pertained to students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 requested information on various aspects of parent involvement in education (such as help with homework, family activities, and parent involvement at school), and survey questions pertaining to homeschooled students requested information on the student's homeschooling experiences, the sources of the curriculum, and the reasons for homeschooling.

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

Agency Contact:
Sarah Grady
Andrew Zukerberg
Sample Surveys Division
National Center for Education Statistics
550 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20202
sarah.grady@ed.gov
andrew.zukerberg@ed.gov

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National Immunization Survey

The National Immunization Surveys (NIS) are a family of telephone surveys used to monitor vaccination coverage among children ages 19–35 months (NIS-Child), adolescents ages 13–17 years (NIS-Teen), and for influenza vaccination, ages 6 months–17 years (NIS-Flu). Data collection for NIS-Child began in April 1994 to assess vaccination coverage after measles outbreaks in the early 1990s. Similar to the NIS-Child, the NIS-Teen was launched in 2006.

The NIS surveys provide population-based, state, selected local area, and territorial estimates of vaccination coverage among children and adolescents using a standard survey methodology. The surveys collect data through telephone interviews with parents or guardians in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and some cities or counties and U.S. territories. Cell phone numbers are randomly selected and called to identify one or more age-eligible children or adolescents from the household. The parents and guardians of eligible children for NIS-Child and NIS-Teen 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). Children and adolescents are classified as being up to date based on the ACIP-recommended numbers of doses for each vaccine. All vaccination coverage estimates are based on provider-reported vaccination history.

Information about the NIS is available online at https://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 Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence

The National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV) is a nationwide survey of children's exposure to violence, crime, and abuse in the home, school, and community settings. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) sponsors NatSCEV with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To date, NatSCEV was fielded in 2008, 2011 and 2014.

NatSCEV measures the past-year and lifetime exposure to crime, violence, and abuse for children ages 17 and younger based on questions across several categories: conventional crime, child maltreatment, victimization by peers and siblings, sexual victimization, witnessing and indirect victimization (including exposure to community and family violence), school violence and threats, and Internet victimization.

In 2014, NatSCEV sampled 4,000 children and youth using interviewer-administered telephone surveys to obtain data directly from youth ages 10 to 17 and caregivers reporting for children ages 0 to 9. Response rates varied across four sampling frames, ranging from a low of 9.7 percent in a random-digit-dialed cell phone sample to a high of 52.7 percent in an address-based sample. Weighting accounted for differential probability of selection within and across the sampling frames and to adjust for nonresponse.

Information about NatSCEV is available online at https://www.ojjdp.gov/research/national-survey-of-childrens-exposure-to-violence.html
Agency Contact:
Benjamin Adams
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Phone: (202) 616-3687
Email: Benjamin.Adams@ojp.usdoj.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 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 older in the United States. Information about substance use and use disorders, 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 and the District of Columbia. 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 youth 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 67,500 interviews are conducted each year using these methods.

Information about NSDUH is available online at https://www.samhsa.gov/data/data-we-collect/nsduh-national-survey-drug-use-and-health.To access SAMHSA's public-use files, including an online data analysis tool, please visit: https://datafiles.samhsa.gov/. NSDUH restricted files, including state and other geographic identifiers, can be accessed through the Research Data Center (RDC) system of the National Center for Health Statistics. For RDC related questions, please email rdca@cdc.gov.

Agency Contact:
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Phone: Data Request Line at (240) 276-1212
Email: CBHSQRequest@samhsa.hhs.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 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 https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/table-regulated-drinking-water-contaminants.

The 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, the source water (surface water or ground water), and 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 https://www.epa.gov/enviro/sdwis-overview.

Agency Contact:
Renee Morris
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
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 https://www.census.gov/sipp.

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

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Vital Statistics — Mortality File

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) collects and publishes data on deaths in the United States as part of the National Vital Statistics System. NCHS obtains information on deaths from the registration offices of all states, New York City, and the District of Columbia. 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. 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. Population denominators are based on Census data. The 2003 revision of the U.S Standard Certificate of Death uses revised race and ethnicity sections conforming to the 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. States adopted this new certificate on a rolling basis; effective with 2018 data, all states had adopted the 2003 certificate. The 2003 revision permits reporting of more than one race (multiple races). Prior to 2018 data, to provide uniformity and comparability of data for trend comparison, bridged race categories were presented. Therefore, data for race groups for 2018 and subsequent years are not comparable with earlier data. The bridged population estimates can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race.htm. Prior to America's Children, 2003, rates were based on populations estimated from the 1990 Census.

For more information about these methodologies, see:

Ingram, D. D., Weed, J. A., Parker, J. D., Hamilton, B. E., Schenker, N., Arias, E., & 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., & 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 mortality data, see:

Xu, J., Murphy, S. L., Kochanek, K. D., & Arias, E. (2020). Mortality in the United States, 2018. NCHS data brief, no 355. Hyattsville, MD: NCHS. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db355.htm

Kochanek, K. D., Murphy, S. L., Xu, J., & Arias, E. (2019). Deaths: Final Data for 2017. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_09-508.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 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/statab/techap99.pdf.

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

Agency Contacts:
For more information on:

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

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

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Vital Statistics — Natality File

Through the National Vital Statistics System, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) collects and publishes data on births in the United States. NCHS obtains information from the registration offices of all states, New York City, and the District of Columbia. The birth certificate must be filed with the local registrar of the district in which the birth occurs. Each birth must be reported promptly; the reporting requirements vary from state to state, ranging from 24 hours to as much as 10 days after the birth. 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.

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.

Population Denominators. Population denominators are based on Census data. The 2003 revision of the U.S Standard Certificate of Live Birth uses revised race and ethnicity sections conforming to the 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. Starting with 2003 data, some states began using the 2003 revision, which allows the reporting of more than one race (multiple races). Prior to 2016 data, to provide uniformity and comparability of data for trend comparison, bridged race categories were presented. As of 2016 data, all states and reporting areas had adopted the 2003 revision of the birth certificate. Therefore, data for race groups for 2016 and subsequent years are not comparable with earlier data. The bridged population estimates can be found online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race.htm. Prior to America's Children, 2003, rates were based on populations estimated from 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:

Matthews, T. J., & Hamilton, B. E. (2019). Total fertility rates by state and race and Hispanic origin: United States, 2017. National Vital Statistics Reports, 68 (1). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

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., & 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.

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

For more information on national natality data, see:

Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Osterman, M. J. K., & Driscoll, A. K. (2019). Births: Final data for 2018. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_13-508.pdf.

Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Osterman, M. J. K., Driscoll, A. K., & Drake, P. (2018). Births: Final data for 2016. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr67/nvsr67_01.pdf.

National Center for Health Statistics. (2007). Detailed technical notes. United States, 2005, natality. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at https://wonder.cdc.gov/wonder/sci_data/natal/detail/type_txt/natal05/TechAppendix05.pdf.

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

Agency Contact:
Joyce Martin
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4362
E-mail: JMartin@cdc.gov

Vital Statistics — National Linked Files of Live Births and Infant Deaths

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. The National Linked File of Live Births and Infant Deaths is a data file produced in two formats (as of 1995). 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 period linked files are used for infant mortality data presented in this report. 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. Linked files were not produced for the 1992–1994 data years. Match completeness for each of the birth cohort files is 98%–99%.

For more information, see:

Ely D. M. & Driscoll, A. K. (2019). Infant mortality in the United States, 2017: Data from the period linked birth/infant death file. National Vital Statistics Reports, 68 (10). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_10-508.pdf

Mathews T. J. & Driscoll A. K. (2017). Trends in infant mortality in the United States, 2005–2014. NCHS data brief, no 279. Hyattsville, MD: NCHS. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db279.htm.

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

Agency contact:
Joyce Martin
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4362
Email: JAMartin@cdc.gov

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Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) was developed in 1990 to monitor health risk behaviors and experiences that contribute 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 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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. Survey procedures for the national, state, and local surveys are designed to protect students' privacy by allowing for anonymous and voluntary participation. Before survey administration, local parental permission procedures are followed. Students complete the self-administered questionnaire during one class period and record their responses directly on a computer-scannable booklet or answer sheet.

For the 2019 national YRBS, the sampling frame 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. In 2019, 13,872 questionnaires were completed in 136 schools. The school response rate was 75%, and the student response rate was 80%. The overall response rate (school response rate multiplied by the student response rate) was 60%.

Information about the YRBSS, including the 2019 national YRBS, is available online at https://www.cdc.gov/yrbs.

Agency Contact:
Mike Underwood, PhD
Chief, School-based Surveillance Branch
Division of Adolescent and School Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
jmunderwood@cdc.gov
404-718-1471

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