A history of sunburns, especially early in life, can raise a person’s risk of getting skin cancer. Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 has two objectives regarding sunburns—
- C-20.1: Reduce the proportion of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who report sunburn.
- C-20.2: Reduce the proportion of adults aged 18 years and older who report sunburn.
Healthy People 2020 did not set a specific target for adolescents because baseline sunburn data were not available for this group when the targets were set. The latest data show that about five out of every 10 high school boys and more than six out of every 10 high school girls report getting a sunburn in the last year.
Percentage of U.S. High School Students Who Reported Getting a Sunburn in the Past Year in 2017
Data source: 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
For adults, the Healthy People 2020 target is to reduce the proportion of adults who have been sunburned in the last year to 33.8% by 2020. In 2010, 37.5% of adults reported being sunburned in the last year.
Percentage of U.S. Adults Who Reported Getting a Sunburn in the Past Year, by Age Group
Data source: National Health Interview Survey, 2010 and 2015.