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Cervical Cancer Screening Rates

Cervical cancer screening means checking a woman's cervix for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that may become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.

Source for graph data: National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2013. Table 84. Use of Pap smears among women aged 18 and over, by selected characteristics: United States, selected years 1987–2010. [PDF-299KB]

Pap Test Percentages by Race and Ethnicity

The graph below shows the percentage of women aged 18 years and older who had a Pap test in the last three years, grouped by race and ethnicity.

Percentage of U.S. Women Aged 18 Years and Older Who Have Had a Pap Test in the Last 3 Years by Race* and Ethnicity†

Line chart showing the percentage of American women who reported having a Pap test in the last three years, by race and ethnicity. The data points are reported in the table below.
Race* or Ethnicity 2000 2005 2008 2010
White only 81.3 77.7 74.9 72.8
Black only 85.1 81.1 80.1 77.9
American Indian/Alaska Native only 76.8 75.2 69.4 73.4
Asian only 66.4 64.1 65.1 68.0
Hispanic or Latina† 77.0 75.5 75.4 73.6

*Estimates for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander are considered unreliable and are not shown in this graph.

†The group, or category, called "Hispanic" may include race categories like white, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander.

Pap Test Percentages by Education Level

The percentages of cervical cancer screening vary by education level. Women with the most years of schooling are most likely to have had a Pap test in the last three years. The graph below shows the percentage of women aged 25 years and older who had a Pap test in the last three years, grouped by their highest level of education.

Percentage of U.S. Women Aged 25 Years and Older Who Have Had a Pap Test in the Last 3 Years by Education Level

Line chart showing the percentage of American women who reported having a Pap test in the last three years, by education level. The data points are reported in the table below.
Education Level 2000 2005 2008 2010
No high school diploma or GED 69.9 64.1 60.6 56.7
High school diploma or GED 79.8 73.8 69.5 66.8
Some college or more 88.0 84.6 82.6 80.7

Pap Test Percentages by Age

The percentages of cervical cancer screening vary by age. Women aged 18 to 44 years are most likely to have had a Pap test in the last three years, followed by older women. The graph below shows the percentage of women aged 18 years and older who had a Pap test in the last three years, grouped by age.

Percentage of U.S. Women Aged 18 Years and Older Who Have Had a Pap Test in the Last 3 Years by Age

Line chart showing the percentage of American women who reported having a Pap test in the last three years, by age group. The data points are reported in the table below.
Age Group 2000 2005 2008 2010
18 to 44 years 84.9 83.6 81.8 80.4
45 to 64 years 84.6 80.6 78.8 76.9
65 years and older 64.5 54.9 50.0 47.1
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