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, 2020 and 2021. 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, 2020 and 2021 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, 2020 and 2021 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, 2020, combined 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 NSCH are available on the interactive data query. The estimates for Child and Family Health Measures from the combined 2020-2021 NSCH will be available in November 2022. Fully cleaned datasets and codebooks are available through the DRC Dataset Request Page. The combined 2020-2021 NSCH downloadable datasets will be available in spring 2023.
The 2021 NSCH was the first to directly assess the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on health care use and childcare. Be on the lookout for the DRC’s single-year 2021 estimates, the downloadable datasets, and codebooks coming in late spring 2023.
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
||2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021: Census Bureau
2003, 2007, 2011/12: National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
||Nationwide, all 50 states and the District of Columbia
||Yearly survey beginning in 2016
Previous surveys conducted in 2003, 2007, 2011/12
||Non-institutionalized children in the US ages 0-17 years
|Sample size range
||2021: Nationally: 50,892; State: between 788 - 2,956
2020: Nationally: 42,777; State: between 644 - 3,039
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 - 1,351
2003, 2007, 2011/12: Nationally: between 91,000 and 102,000; State: between 1,800-2,200
||Weighted to be representative of the US population of non-institutionalized children ages 0-17
||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