Data & Statistics

Baby with a laptop

Data tracking in public health is known as public health surveillance. It is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of outcomes and results. Surveillance is a public health approach to problem-solving, using data to identify challenges, assess the effectiveness of interventions, and inform public health action. We focus on gathering data to better understand behaviors, practices, and policies related to breastfeeding and breastfeeding disparities. This helps guide our strategic priorities to improve the health of mothers and babies across their lifespan.

For breastfeeding, CDC tracks:

  • National and state-level breastfeeding rates.
  • Maternity care practices at hospitals.
  • Public opinion about breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding and infant feeding practices.

A mother breastfeeding at home


The latest statistics on breastfeeding in the United States.

Cover: 2020 Breastfeeding Report Card

Breastfeeding Report Card

National and state-by-state information on breastfeeding rates and breastfeeding support indicators.

Graphs and charts on a tablet

Breastfeeding Rates

The National Immunization Survey (NIS) provides information on the number of children who breastfeed each year, by state. Although NIS data are used to study vaccination rates, beginning in 2001, breastfeeding questions were added and are used to track breastfeeding practices in the United States.

Data, Trends, and Maps is an interactive tool that provides the most recent information on obesity, nutrition, physical activity, and breastfeeding nationally and in states and territories across the United States.

A breastfeeding mother in her hospital bed.

Hospital Practices

The national Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey provides information that helps hospitals make it easier for moms and babies to start and keep breastfeeding. Every 2 years, CDC invites all maternity care hospitals across the country to fill out the mPINC Survey. The questions focus on specific parts of hospital maternity care that affect how babies are fed.

A mother breastfeeding on a train

Public Opinions about Breastfeeding

SummerStyles provides information on health-related opinions of people aged 18 years or older, across the United States. Since 1999, breastfeeding questions have been included to collect information on public beliefs and attitudes about breastfeeding.

A child eating cereal with a spoon

Breastfeeding and Infant Feeding Practices

The Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II) provides information on infant feeding patterns (e.g., breastfeeding, formula feeding, complementary feeding) in the United States throughout the first year of life, as well as information on the diets of women in their 3rd trimester and at 4 months postpartum. The corresponding 6-year follow-up (Y6FU) study provides information on the health, development, and dietary patterns of these children at 6 years of age.

Other Breastfeeding Data Sources

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) provides information on the health and nutritional status of children and adults across the United States. NHANES data can be used to study breastfeeding duration and exclusivity.

Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) provides information on maternal attitudes and experiences related to pregnancy and breastfeeding across the United States.