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The National Survey of Children's Health

The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) provides rich data on multiple, intersecting aspects of children’s lives—including physical and mental health, access to quality health care, and the child’s family, neighborhood, school, and social context. The National Survey of Children's Health is funded and directed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). A revised version of the survey was conducted as a mail and web-based survey by the Census Bureau in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Among other changes, the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health started integrating two surveys: the previous NSCH and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN). See the MCHB website for more information on the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 National Survey of Children's Health administration, methodology, survey content, and data availability.  

The previous version of the NSCH was conducted three times between 2003 and 2012.
In 2003, 2007, and 2011/12, the NSCH was conducted using telephone methodology, and was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control under the direction and sponsorship of the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

The 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 NSCH public-use files (PUF) are available on the Census Bureau's NSCH page. Additionally, national and state estimates for Title V National Performance Measures (NPMs) and National Outcome Measures (NOMs) from the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, combined 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 NSCH are available on the interactive data query. Fully cleaned data sets and codebooks are available through the DRC Dataset Request Page. The combined 2019-2020 NSCH downloadable datasets will be available in spring 2022. Single year 2020 NSCH estimates, downloadable datasets, and codebooks will be available through the DRC in late spring 2022.  

The Data Resource Center takes the results from the NSCH and makes them easily accessible to parents, researchers, community health providers and anyone interested in maternal and child health. Data on this site are for the nation and each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. State and national data can be further refined to assess differences by race/ethnicity, income, type of health insurance, and a variety of other important demographic and health status characteristics.  Additional resources on the survey can be found on the following pages:

Survey Design and Sponsorship Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration in partnership with Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, and a National Technical Expert Panel
Data Collection 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020: Census Bureau
2003, 2007, 2011/12: National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Geographic areas Nationwide, all 50 states and the District of Columbia
Periodicity Yearly survey beginning in 2016
Previous surveys conducted in 2003, 2007, 2011/12 
Population sampled Non-institutionalized children in the US ages 0-17 years
Sample size range  2020: Nationally: 42,777; State: between 644 - 3039
2019: Nationally: 29,433; State: between 474 - 651
2018: Nationally: 30,530; State: between 520 - 769
2017: Nationally: 21,599; State: between 343 - 470
2016: Nationally: 50,212; State: between 638 - 1351
2003, 2007, 2011/12: Nationally: between 91,000 and 102,000; State: between 1,800-2,200
Representative  Weighted to be representative of the US population of non-institutionalized children ages 0-17
Topics  Physical and emotional health; factors that may relate to well-being of children, including medical home, family interactions, parental health, school experiences, and safe neighborhoods