National Survey of Family Growth

2011-2015 NSFG: Selected Data and Documentation

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This page contains selected data and documentation for four years of data covered by the 2 two-year releases, 2011-2013 and 2013-2015. These materials are intended to help users who wish to use a combined file of 4 years of data.  There is no public use dataset specifically provided for this purpose. Within this page are also descriptions of special datasets covering 2011-2015, separate from the public use files.


Summary measure for data collection for 2011-2015

The document in the first link below provides selected measures on data collection for the 2011-2015 NSFG and where applicable compares this information to that from the 2006-2010 NSFG. The information includes a description of the 2011-2015 weight variable, the number of strata and clusters, response rates, and interview length for the 2011-2015 NSFG. The second link is to a document, as prepared in 2014 for the Office of Management and Budget, describing nonresponse bias analysis for the 2011-2013 NSFG.  This document will be updated in 2018 to reflect nonresponse bias analysis for the full 2011-2015 survey period.


Variance Estimation Examples: 2011-2015

Each of the PDF files below provides output in SAS and STATA for three examples of variance estimation for the 2011–2015 NSFG data (the 2011-2013 dataset combined with the 2013-2015 dataset). The programs for these examples can be adapted from those found in the “Variance Estimation Examples” for 2013-2015, by modifying the input file name and using the weight for 2011-2015 (see the table below for weight and design variable names). These examples are intended to cover some of the basic types of variance estimation you may do in your analyses. See also the section “Sample Weights and Variance Estimation” in the 2013-2015 NSFG User’s Guide pdf iconfor more information. If you have any questions about any of these examples, please e-mail the NSFG staff at

Variance Estimation (output only, SAS and STATA programs can be adapted from those found on the web page for the 2013-2015 NSFG, in the section “2013-2015 Variance Estimation Examples”):


Design and Weight Variables

2002, 2006-2010, 2011-2013, 2013-2015, and 2011-2015 Design and Weight Variables
Design variable 2002 2006-2010 2011-2013 2013-2015 2011-2015*
Four Cluster/Panel Variable SECU_R (fem resp)
SECU_P (fem preg)
SECU (male resp)
Final post-stratified, fully adjusted case weight FINALWGT WGTQ1Q16 WGT2011_2013 WGT2013_2015 WGT2011_2015

*Separate files are available under the “Downloadable Data Files” section of this webpage containing the case weight to use with a 2011-2015 data file.
See the 2013-2015 User’s Guide, Appendix 2 pdf icon[PDF – 279 KB] for more information about combining the 2011-2013 and 2013-2015 files.


Downloadable Data Files


Program Statements



Other Data Files

In addition to the main 2011-2013 and 2013-2015 public use data files which contain data from the interviews with respondents, there are additional data files available that supplement the respondent data collection. These include a file containing Interviewer Observations data and a file containing paradata (data about the data collection process). Below are instructions on how to access them and other information about the contents and uses of these data files.


Interviewer Observations data file: The Interviewer Observations data file is a special file that contains responses from the interviewers who conducted interviews that took place from 2011-2015 NSFG. Interviewers filled out a paper questionnaire or, for a small proportion of cases, entered responses on a smartphone, at the end of the survey while the respondents were completing the ACASI portion of the interview on the NSFG laptop.

The data file contains responses from the interviewers (all female) for most of the 20,621 respondents in the 2011-2015 NSFG. Documentation includes a list of variables   pdf icon[PDF – 104 KB]with short descriptions, a User’s Guide pdf icon[PDF – 176 KB], a codebook with details and frequencies for each variable, and the paper questionnaire pdf icon[PDF – 63 KB]. The Interviewer Observation data file is intended to be used in conjunction with NSFG public use data files. The Interviewer Observation data file contains a case ID that is common to the case ID on the female and male files for 2011-2013 and on the female and male files for 2013-2015. Thus different datasets can be created through merging, for various analytic purposes. The 2011-2015 Interviewer Observations data file also contains quarter of interview and a variable for gender of the respondent, allowing differentiation by release and by male/female, within the four-year file. Weights for both two-year files and for a four-year file are available.


The Interviewer Observations data file and additional documentation are available through the NCHS Research Data Center (RDC). For further information about these data, contact NSFG staff at For information about using these data, please visit the RDC website or email


Paradata file: The 2011-2015 NSFG Paradata file includes data describing the NSFG data collection process, for fieldwork between September 2011 and September 2015. The sample includes housing units that were randomly sampled for the NSFG, including housing units that responded to a screener and/or main NSFG interview as well as housing units that ultimately did not respond to either interview. This file corresponds to the four years of data contained in the 2 two-year public use data files for interviews between 2011-2013 and interviews between 2013-2015. The file does not contain any data from the survey questionnaire.  Types and sources of data included on this file are described in the Paradata User’s Guide pdf icon[PDF – 145 KB] and all variables on the file are listed in the File Index pdf icon[PDF – 98 KB].  These data can be used to assess potential non response bias as well as other methodological questions of interest. The Paradata file is intended for use as both a stand-alone data file and one that can be linked with the NSFG public use data files and restricted files using the case ID which is common to all files.


The Paradata  file and additional documentation are available through the NCHS Research Data Center (RDC). For further information about these data, contact NSFG staff at .

For information about how to access and use these data, please visit the RDC website or email

For additional information or questions about materials on this page, please contact the NSFG staff via mail, e-mail, or telephone at:

National Survey of Family Growth
Reproductive Statistics Branch
Division of Vital Statistics
National Center for Health Statistics
3311 Toledo Road
Hyattsville, MD 20782
(301) 458-4222

Page last reviewed: February 27, 2020