BRFSS logo image The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Established in 1984 with 15 states, BRFSS now collects data in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. BRFSS completes more than 400,000 adult interviews each year, making it the largest continuously conducted health survey system in the world.

By collecting behavioral health risk data at the state and local level, BRFSS has become a powerful tool for targeting and building health promotion activities. As a result, BRFSS users have increasingly demanded more data and asked for more questions on the survey. Currently, there is a wide sponsorship of the BRFSS survey, including most divisions in the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; other CDC centers; and federal agencies, such as the Health Resources and Services Administration, Administration on Aging, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In addition, countries eager to develop similar surveillance systems have requested technical assistance from BRFSS staff.

These countries include:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Italy
  • Jordan
  • South Korea
  • Mexico
  • Nations in the Caribbean, and
  • Vietnam.