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America's Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014

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 exceed the air quality standard for a pollutant if the measured pollutant level was greater than the standard at any monitor within the county during the year. The indicator is calculated as the sum of children living in counties with exceedances divided by the total number of children in the United States.

Information about the AQS is available online at http://www.epa.gov/air/data/aqsdb.html.

Agency Contact:
Rhonda Thompson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (919) 541-5538
E-mail: thompson.rhonda@epa.gov

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American Community Survey

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an annual nationwide survey that replaced the long form in decennial censuses beginning in 2010. The objective of the ACS is to provide data users with timely housing, social, and economic data that is 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 4 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 American Community Survey 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 five 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 American Community Survey is available online at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/index.html.

Agency Contact:
Hyon Shin
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (301) 763-2464

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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 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 about occupants include demographic, financial, and mobility characteristics of the occupants. Since 1997, the AHS has been conducted using computer-assisted personal interviewing.

Information about the American Housing Survey is available online at http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/ahs.html.

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

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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 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 ASEC reflects interviews based on a sample of about 100,000 households. The ASEC (formerly the March Supplement) now includes data collected in February, March, and April. In September 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau began expanding the monthly CPS sample in 31 states and the District of Columbia. States were identified for sample supplementation based on the standard error of their March estimate of low-income children without health insurance. Effective with the release of July 2001 data, official labor force estimates from the CPS reflect the expansion of the monthly CPS sample from about 50,000 to about 60,000 eligible households. This expansion of the monthly CPS sample was one part of the U.S. Census Bureau's plan to meet the requirement of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation that the U.S. Census Bureau improve state-level estimates of the number of children who live in low-income families and lack health insurance. These estimates are obtained from the ASEC supplement to the CPS.

Food security supplement. The food security supplement collects information on households' economic access to enough food, actual food spending, and use of Federal and community food assistance programs. The survey 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, Food Security Briefing Room at http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/foodsecurity.

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:
Hyon Shin
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (301) 763-2464

Family structure, contact:
Fertility and Family Statistics Branch
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (301) 763-2416

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

Poverty, family income, and health insurance, contact:
Social Economic and Housing Statistics Division (SEHSD)
Statistical Information Staff
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (301) 763-3242

Secure parental employment and youth neither enrolled in school nor working, contact:
Stephanie Denton
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Phone: (202) 691-6227

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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:

  • 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.

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:

Decennial Statistical Studies Division
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (301) 763-4242

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High School Transcript Studies

High school transcript studies have been conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as part of the Longitudinal Studies Program and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) High School Transcript Studies (HSTS) program since 1982. Each transcript study is associated with a major NCES data collection. For example, the first NCES-sponsored transcript study was associated with the first follow-up survey of the High School and Beyond Study (HS&B) in 1982. The second follow-up of the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) was associated with the 1992 transcript collection. A third transcript study associated with the longitudinal study series was conducted for the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002) in 2004/05. In addition, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) collected transcript data in 1987, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2005, and 2009.

The transcript studies collect information that is contained on the student high school record—i.e., courses taken while attending secondary school, information on credits earned, year and term a specific course was taken, and final grades. When available, information on class rank and standardized scores is also collected. Once collected, information (e.g., course name, credits earned, course grades) is transcribed and standardized (e.g., credits and credit hours standardized to a common metric) and can be linked back to the student's questionnaire or assessment data.

The 1982 data are based on approximately 12,000 transcripts collected by the HS&B Study. The 1987 data are based on approximately 25,000 transcripts from 400 schools obtained as part of the 1987 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 NAEP High School Transcript Study (HSTS) collected a sample of over 26,000 transcripts from 640 public schools and 80 private schools. For HSTS 2009, complete transcripts were collected from 37,600 students who graduated in 2009 from a nationally representative sample of U.S. public and private high schools.

The NAEP HSTS provides coursetaking and demographic information for a nationally representative, stratified sample of high school seniors. The HSTS provides the U.S. Department of Education and other education policymakers with information regarding current course offerings and coursetaking patterns in the Nation's secondary schools. In addition, it provides information on the relationship between student coursetaking patterns and achievement, as measured by NAEP. The NAEP high school transcript studies excluded students who did not graduate from high school, had not received a "regular" or "honors" diploma, or did not have complete transcript data.

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

Agency Contact:
Janis Brown
National Center for Education Statistics
Phone: (202) 502-7482
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
National Center for Education Statistics
Phone: (202) 502-7350
E-mail: carl.schmitt@ed.gov

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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 2010 survey is the 20th 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 2010 survey included 15,127 12th-graders from 126 schools, 15,586 10th-graders from 123 schools, and 15,769 8th-graders from 147 schools (a total of 46,482 students from 396 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 it was believed that the data for that year 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. And 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., and Schulenberg, J.E. (in press). 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 http://www.nida.nih.gov/DrugPages/MTF.html and http://monitoringthefuture.org.

Agency Contact:
Jessica H. Cotto
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Phone: (301) 594-6313

National Assessment of Educational Progress

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is mandated by Congress to continuously monitor the knowledge, skills, and performance of the Nation's children and youth. To measure trends in educational performance, NAEP has periodically assessed students in grades 4, 8, and 12 since 1990 in reading and mathematics, as well as in other subjects such as science, writing, and U.S. history. The assessments use the curriculum frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) and the latest advances in assessment methodology. The frameworks use standards developed within the field, using a consensus process involving educators, subject-matter experts, and other interested citizens.

The content and nature of the main NAEP evolves periodically to reflect changes in curriculum and instructional practices. NAEP includes students in public and nonpublic schools. A charter school could be sampled, since such schools are within the universe of public schools, but homeschoolers are not included. Before 2002, the NAEP national sample was an independently selected national sample. However, beginning in 2002, the NAEP national sample was obtained by aggregating the samples from each state. As a result, the size of the national sample increased, which means that smaller differences between estimates from different administrations and different types of students may now be found to be statistically significant than could have been detected in assessment results reported before 2002.

Until 1996, NAEP assessments excluded certain subgroups of students identified as "special needs students," including students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency. For the 1996 and 2000 mathematics assessments and the 1998 and 2000 reading assessments, NAEP included separate assessments with provisions for accommodating these students (e.g., extended time, small group testing, mathematics questions read aloud, and so on). For these years, results are reported for both the unaccommodated and accommodated assessments. After 2000, only a single accommodated assessment was administered.

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

Agency Contact:
Steven Gorman
National Center for Education Statistics
Phone: (202) 502-7347
E-mail: Steven.Gorman@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.

States that submit case-level data construct a child-specific record for each report of alleged child abuse or neglect that received a disposition as a result of an investigation or an assessment during the reporting period. The reporting period for 2009 was from October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009. The case-level data are reported in the Child File. Data fields include the demographics of the children and their perpetrators, types of maltreatment, investigation or assessment dispositions, risk factors, and services provided as a result of the investigation or assessment. In 2009, fifty states submitted the Child File and aggregate-level data in the Agency File for items that were not obtainable at the child level, such as the number of CPS workers. Two states reported only aggregate statistics on key indicators; these states are in the process of developing the Child File.

The count of child victims is based on the number of investigations that found a child to be a victim of one or more types of maltreatment. The count of victims is, therefore, a report-based count and is a "duplicated count," since an individual child may have been the subject of a report more than once. Children are considered to be "victims of maltreatment" if the allegation is either "substantiated" or "indicated" by the investigation process. 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.

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. The overall rate of maltreatment is based on the following number of states for each year: 51 in 1998, 50 in 1999, 50 in 2000, 51 in 2001, 51 in 2002, 51 in 2003, 50 in 2004, 52 in 2005, 51 in 2006, 50 in 2007, 51 in 2008, and 52 in 2009. The number of states reporting on sex for the years 2000 to present was 50 in 2000, 51 in 2001, 51 in 2002, 51 in 2003, 50 in 2004, 51 in 2005, 51 in 2006, 50 in 2007, 51 in 2008, and 52 in 2009. The number of states reporting on race and Hispanic origin for the years 2000 to present was 48 in 2000, 49 in 2001, 50 in 2002, 50 in 2003, 49 in 2004, 50 in 2005, 49 in 2006, 46 in 2007, 48 in 2008, and 48 in 2009. The number of states reporting on age for the years 2000 to present was 50 in 2000, 51 in 2001, 51 in 2002, 51 in 2003, 50 in 2004, 51 in 2005, 51 in 2006, 50 in 2007, 51 in 2008, and 52 in 2009. Rates from 1998 to 1999 are based on aggregated data submitted by states; rates from 2000 to the present are based on case-level data submitted by states. The reporting year changed in 2003 from the calendar year to the Federal fiscal year.

Information about NCANDS is available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can.

Agency Contact:
John A. Gaudiosi
Children's Bureau
Administration on Children, Youth, and Families
Administration for Children and Families
Phone: (202) 205-8625
E-mail: john.gaudiosi@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 2010, the most recent year, was about 41,000 households including 73,000 persons ages 12 and older interviewed twice at 6 month intervals. 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 2010 was 92.3 percent of eligible households and 87.5 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:
Jennifer Truman
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Phone: (202) 307-0765

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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, such as Mexican Americans, Blacks, adolescents, adults 60 years and older, and low-income Whites has occurred at different times to improve the statistical reliability of the 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. Although each cross-sectional survey provides a national estimate for the U.S. population, data are 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. A two-year interview and examined sample includes approximately 10,000 persons of all ages. Starting in 2007–2008, NHANES oversampled all Hispanics, not just Mexican Americans. For more information on the NHANES data, see http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/nhanes_03_04/nhanes_analytic_guidelines_dec_2005.pdf.

NHANES data used to calculate Healthy Eating Index-2005 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-2005 (HEI-2005) component scores shown in this edition of America's Children. The HEI-2005 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-2005 is available at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/HealthyEatingIndex.htm.

Agency Contacts:

For more information on:

The Healthy Eating Index, contact:
Kellie O'Connell
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Phone: (703) 305-0160

Lead and cotinine, contact:
Debra Brody
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4116

Oral health, contact:
Bruce Dye
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4199

Obesity, contact:
Cynthia Ogden
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4405

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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 been between 82 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 2009, interviewers collected information for the family core questionnaire on 88,446 persons, including 11,156 children under 18 years of age.

For background and health data for children, see:

Bloom, B., Cohen, R.A., Freeman G. (2010). Summary health statistics for U.S. children: National Health Interview Survey, 2009. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital and Health Statistics 10 (247).

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

Agency Contacts:

For more information on:

Activity limitation, contact:
Patricia Pastor
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4422

Asthma, contact:
Lara Akinbami
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4306

Emotional and behavioral difficulties, contact:
Shelli Avenevoli
National Institute of Mental Health
Phone: (301) 443-8316

Patricia Pastor
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4422

Oral health, contact:
Bruce Dye
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4199

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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 the utilization and provision of medical care services provided in hospital emergency and outpatient departments. Data are collected from medical records on type of health care provider seen; reason for visit; diagnoses; drugs ordered, provided, or continued; and selected procedures and tests performed during the visit. Patient data include age, sex, race, and expected source of payment. Data are also collected on selected characteristics of hospitals included in the survey. Annual data collection began in 1992.

The survey is a representative sample of visits to emergency departments (EDs) and outpatient departments (OPDs) of non-Federal, short-stay, or general hospitals. Telephone contacts are excluded. A four-stage probability sample design is used in NHAMCS, involving samples of primary sampling units (PSUs), hospitals within PSUs, clinics within OPDs, and patient visits within clinics.

The hospital sample consists of approximately 500 hospitals. In 2007, 35,490 ED patient record forms (PRFs) were completed, and in 2008, 34,134 PRFs were completed. The ED hospital response rate was 93 percent in 2007 and 90 percent in 2008.

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 Website at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd.htm.

Agency Contact:
Margaret Warner
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4556

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National Household Education Survey

The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), collects detailed information about education issues through a household-based survey that uses telephone interviews. The sample for the NHES is drawn from the noninstitutionalized civilian population in households with a telephone in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In each survey, between 44,000 and 60,000 households are screened to identify persons eligible for one of the topics. Generally, each collection covers two topical surveys, and researchers conduct between 2,500 and 25,000 interviews for each survey. The data are weighted to permit nationally representative estimates of the population of interest. In addition, the NHES design samples minorities at a higher rate than nonminorities to increase the reliability of estimates for smaller groups.

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, 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 the 1991 survey. 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 from age 3 through 12th grade. 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. Interviews were conducted with 24,000 parents of children ranging from newborns through 12th-graders, approximately 8,000 students in 6th through 12th grade in the youth interview, and nearly 7,000 adults.

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 and noneducational 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 these exceptions: 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 10,681 sampled children in kindergarten through 12th grade, including 10,370 students enrolled in public or private schools and 311 homeschooled children.

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

Agency Contact:
Andrew Zukerberg
National Center for Education Statistics
Phone: (202) 219-7056
E-mail: andrew.zukerberg@ed.gov

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National Immunization Survey

The National Immunization Survey (NIS) is a continuing nationwide telephone sample survey of families with children ages 19 to 35 months. Estimates of vaccinespecific coverage are available for the Nation, states, and selected urban areas.

The NIS uses a two-stage sample design that includes household data collection and provider record check. First, a random-digit-dialing sample of telephone numbers is drawn. When households with children ages 19 to 35 months are contacted, the interviewer collects information on the vaccinations received by all age-eligible children. The interviewer also collects information on the vaccination providers. In the second phase, all vaccination providers are contacted by mail. Providers' responses are combined with information obtained from the households to render estimates of vaccination coverage levels more accurately. Final estimates are adjusted for noncoverage of households without telephones.

The 2009 estimates were affected by the Hib vaccine shortage and the interim Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation to suspend the booster dose for healthy children from December 2007 to June 2009, a time when most children in the 2009 National Immunization Survey would have been eligible for the booster dose of the Hib vaccine.

The National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) was established to provide an ongoing, consistent data set for analyzing vaccination levels among adolescents in the United States and disseminating this information to interested public health partners. The NIS-Teen provides national and state estimates of vaccination coverage, including new vaccines as they are licensed and recommended for use.

Similar to the NIS, the NIS-teen uses random-digit dialing to find households with adolescents ages 13 to 17. The households are asked about vaccines that they recall the adolescent receiving. Providers are then contacted by mail to verify each of the adolescent's vaccinations. These responses are combined with household data to render estimates of adolescent vaccination coverage.

Information about the NIS is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/stats-surv/imz-coverage.htm#nis.

Information about the NIS-teen is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/stats-surv/nis/default.htm#nisteen.

Agency Contact:
James Singleton
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Phone: (404) 639-8560

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National Survey of Adoptive Parents

The National Survey of Adoptive Parents (NSAP) was a random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone survey of households in the United States containing children ages 0–17 who lived with at least one English-speaking adoptive parent and no biological parents in 2007. The survey was tailored to collect data from three types of adoptive families:

  • Those who adopted through the U.S. foster care system.
  • Those who adopted internationally.
  • Those who adopted through domestic private sources.

Eligible respondents were identified during the administration of the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). Interviews took place between April 2007 and July 2008 with parents of 2,089 adopted children, including 545 children who were adopted internationally, 763 children who were adopted after having spent time in the U.S. foster care system, and 781 children who were adopted from private domestic sources.

The NSAP gathered information on the characteristics of adopted children and their families in order to gain insights into their adoption-related experiences and post-adoption well-being, service utilization, and needs. Topics covered in the 30-minute interview include the following: characteristics of the child, parent(s) and family; child and parent well-being, including attachment and adoption satisfaction; parents' reasons for adoption and pre-adoption preparation; contact with birth families; and services received and needed since the adoption. Families of children adopted from foster care were also asked about adoption subsidy payments and Medicaid coverage received as part of adoption assistance agreements.

The NSAP was sponsored and funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of HHS, and was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was fielded as a module of the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS).

Information about the NSAP is available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/slaits/nsap.htm.

Agency Contacts:

Matthew Bramlett
National Center for Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Phone: (301) 458-4070
E-mail: MBramlett@cdc.gov

Laura Radel
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Phone: (202) 690-5938
E-mail: Laura.Radel@hhs.gov

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The National Survey of Children's Health

The National Survey of Children's Health, 2007 (NSCH) was a random-digit-dial telephone survey of households in the United States that contained a child 0–17 years of age in 2007. Interviews took place between April 2007 and July 2008 with caregivers of 91,642 children, approximately 1,800 in each state and in Washington, DC. The sampling weights were adjusted for nonresponse and noncoverage and are representative of the population of noninstitutionalized children at both the national and state levels.

The NSCH gathered information on the health, health care, and well-being of children and on the healthrelated characteristics of children, their families, and their neighborhoods. Topics covered in the 30-minute interview included: health and functional status; health insurance coverage; health care access and utilization; medical home; family functioning; parental health; neighborhood and community characteristics; and age-specific information such as child care and breastfeeding for children ages 0–5 years and school engagement and social activities for children ages 6–17 years.

The NSCH was sponsored and funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), and was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). It was fielded as a module of the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS).

Information about the NSCH is available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/slaits/nsch.htm.

Agency Contacts:

Stephen Blumberg
National Center for Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Phone: (301) 458-4107
E-mail: SBlumberg@cdc.gov

Michael Kogan
Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Health Resources and Services Administration
Phone: (301) 443-3145
E-mail: MKogan@hrsa.gov

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National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs

The 2005–2006 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) was conducted as a module of the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS). Similar to the first NS-CSHCN in 2001, it was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The primary goals of the survey were to assess the prevalence and impact of special health care needs among children in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and evaluate change since 2001. The survey explored the extent to which children with special health care needs (CSHCN) have medical homes, adequate health insurance, and access to needed services. Other topics included functional difficulties, care coordination, satisfaction with care, and transition services.

SLAITS is a broad-based, ongoing survey system available at national, state, and local levels to track and monitor the health and well-being of children and adults. Surveys conducted as part of the SLAITS system, like the 2005–2006 NS-CSHCN, use the same sampling frame as the CDC's National Immunization Study (NIS) and immediately follow the NIS in selected households. For the 2005–2006 NS-CSHCN, a random-digit-dial sample of households with children younger than 18 years of age was constructed for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. All children in each identified household were screened for special health care needs. If CSHCN were identified in the household, a detailed interview was conducted for one randomly selected child with special health care needs. Detailed interviews were also conducted for a separate national sample of children to generate estimates for children without special health care needs and permit comparisons with CSHCN on all study measures.

A total of 191,640 households were screened for the presence of CSHCN between April 2005 and February 2007; these households included 363,183 children. Screening identified 55,767 CSHCN in 44,795 households. One child with special health care needs was randomly selected from each of these households to be the subject of the interview, yielding 40,465 completed special health care need interviews. The response rate for the completion of the special needs interviews was 61.2 percent. The respondents were parents or guardians who knew about the children's health and health care.

Information about the NS-CSHCN is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/slaits/nscshcn_05_06.htm.

Agency Contact:
Stephen J. Blumberg
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4107

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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.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (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 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://oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh.htm.

Agency Contact:
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Phone: OAS Data Request Line at (240) 276-1212
Email: See http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/Mail/email.cfm

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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.

Birth and fertility rates for 2001–2009 shown in this report have been revised using (intercensal) population estimates based on the 2000 and 2010 censuses, to provide more accurate rates for the period (see Supplemental Tables S–1 through S–3 in http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_02.pdf). The revised rates may differ from the original rates published in previous editions of this report, which were based on 2000 (postcensal) population estimates. Differences in the rates may vary by age, race, and Hispanic origin population groups. The overall effect of the revised rates is that the range in rates among population subgroups is somewhat smaller than indicated by the previously published rates.

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 for 1991–2001 have been revised, based on populations consistent with the census conducted on April 1, 2000. Prior to America's Children, 2003, rates were based on populations projected from the 1990 Census. The population estimates for 2000–2009 can be found online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race.htm. It was necessary to create population estimates for 2000–2009 that were consistent with the race categories used in the 1990 Census.

The revised intercensal population estimates for 5-year age groups for 1991–1999 can also be found online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/bridged_race.htm.

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. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Statistics, 2(135). 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.

Preliminary data. NCHS continuously receives statistical records from the states' vital registration systems, providing preliminary data. Investigators weight individual records of births and deaths to independent counts of vital events registered in each state and reported to NCHS. These independent counts, aggregated for a 12-month period, serve as control totals and are the basis for the individual unit record weights in the preliminary file. For selected variables, unknown or not-stated values are imputed. The percentage not stated is generally 1 percent or less.

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

National Center for Health Statistics. (2001). Technical appendix. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1999, natality. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/techap99.pdf.

National Center for Health Statistics. (2010). Detailed technical notes. United States, 2008, natality. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. Available online at ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/Dataset_Documentation/DVS/natality/UserGuide2008.pdf.

National Center for Health Statistics. (2004). Technical appendix. Vital Statistics of the United States, 1999, vol. II, mortality, part A. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics. 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:

Adolescent mortality, contact:
Margaret Warner
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4556

Births to unmarried women, and adolescent births, contact:
Stephanie Ventura
National Center for Health Statistics
Phone: (301) 458-4547

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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. (2010). Infant mortality statistics from the 2006 period linked birth/infant death data set. National Vital Statistics Reports 58 (17). 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

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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://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html.

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://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwisfed/sdwis.htm.

Agency Contact:
Jade L. Freeman
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (202) 564-1935
E-mail: lee-freeman.jade@epa.gov

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://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html.

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://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwisfed/sdwis.htm.

Agency Contact:
Jade L. Freeman
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (202) 564-1935
E-mail: lee-freeman.jade@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.sipp.census.gov/sipp.

Agency Contact:
Fertility and Family Statistics Branch
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (301) 763-2416

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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, provide data representative of public high school students in each state or local school district.

The sampling frame for the 2009 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 2009 national YRBS, 16,460 questionnaires were completed in 158 schools. The school response rate was 81 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 71 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: (770) 488-6181
E-mail: lkk1@cdc.gov

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