About Us

What is the National Health Interview Survey?

  • NHIS is the oldest household health survey in the United States.
  • Since 1957, NHIS data has been used to monitor the health of the U.S. population.
  • The National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, manages the survey.
  • U.S. Census Bureau employees are the ones who actually ask you the survey questions.
  • NHIS shows when Americans’ health is getting better or worse, and which groups of people are more likely to have health problems.
  • Data from NHIS tell about Americans’ access to health care, the quality of their health care, and how well the health care system meets people’s needs. Policy makers, researchers, health professionals, educators, and others use NHIS data to improve the health of our nation through better funding and spending choices, programs, and innovations.
  • To see examples of reports (Data Briefs) published using NHIS data, visit: NHIS data, and click here for examples of NHIS data at work.
  • To learn more about NHIS, visit: NHIS

Click here for more information about how your data is used.

How do I know this is a legitimate survey?

The Federal Register of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has Information about NHIS. This is an official publication describing the authenticity of NHIS as a federal survey.

You may conduct an online search of the survey name, “National Health Interview Survey.” You may also add to this search any health topic, such diabetes, asthma, or medical visits. You will find that NHIS is a widely used survey for providing information on the health of the nation.

NHIS cares about your safety and privacy. NHIS interviews are collected only by U.S. Census Bureau field representatives. To confirm that the person who visited your home is a Census Bureau employee, you may take the interviewer’s first and last name, and then search for it on the Census Bureau staff search website: Census Bureau Staff Search.

The search results should provide you with both the organization within the Census Bureau and the contact information for the interviewer. All interviewers sign a statement promising that they will keep your data safe. Violating this agreement can result in fines and jail time. Each interviewer carries a badge identifying him or her as a U.S. Census Bureau employee. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employees may occasionally accompany a U.S. Census Bureau interviewer to observe data collection for training purposes. CDC employees carry a CDC badge that identifies them. You can contact the U.S. Census Bureau Regional Office, listed in your letter, to confirm that a CDC employee is accompanying your interviewer.

The Ethics Review Board of the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of CDC, reviews the survey questions and interviewing procedures. You may call the Ethics Review Board to ask about your rights as a participant in this survey. The toll-free number is 1–800–223–8118, which connects you to an answering service. Please leave a brief message, with your name and phone number, to say that you are calling about Protocol #2018-06. A staff member will return your call soon.

How can I get more information?

For more information about NHIS, visit the NHIS website at, or call or write to the survey staff at:

Division of Health Interview Statistics
National Center for Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3311 Toledo Road
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782–2003
(301) 458–4901 or (301) 458–4001

You may also e-mail NHIS staff at NHIS@CDC.GOV.