National Survey of Family Growth

2013-2015 NSFG: Public Use Data Files, Codebooks, and Documentation

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Codebooks and Documentation




Design and Data Collection Methods

Beginning with the release of data for 2011–2013, detailed information on the survey design and operations, weighting, and variance estimation was compiled in four documents available on the NSFG website. These documents replace the “Series 1” and “Series 2” reports published by NCHS for the 2006–2010 and earlier releases, which can be found within the NSFG’s “Publications and Information Products” pages. The survey design and all related aspects were planned with the entire period 2011 to 2019 in mind, thus are consistent from release to release. The documents below provide information on survey design and operations for 2013-2015, and reflect only minor changes and updates.



Variance Estimation Examples

Each of the PDF files below provides programs and output in SAS and STATA for three examples of variance estimation for the 2013–2015 NSFG data. 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 GuideCdc-pdf[PDF – 893 KB] for more information. If you have any questions about any of these examples, please e-mail the NSFG staff at


Variance Estimation:


2002, 2006–2010, 2011–2013, and 2013–2015 Design and Weight Variables

Design variable 2002 2006–2010 2011–2013 2013–2015
Stratum variable SEST SEST SEST SEST
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

*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 Cdc-pdf[PDF – 279 KB] for more information about combining the 2011-2013 and 2013-2015 files.




Informed Consent Materials


Downloadable Data Files


Program Statements


Other Data Files

The NSFG ACASI data for 2013–2015 are now included as part of the main NSFG public use files. In addition to the main 2013–2015 public use data files, there are other files available containing Region of Residence and Contextual data. Below are instructions on how to access these other data files, as well as further information about the ACASI data.


ACASI Data: As done for 2011-2013 NSFG, the data collected in the Audio Computer-Assisted Self Interviewing (ACASI) portion of the interview are included in the main public use files for 2013–2015 NSFG, as released in October 2016. Please see Questionnaires, Datasets, and Related Documentation for the 2013–2015 NSFG for all links associated with accessing these data.

If you wish to access ACASI data from 2006–2010 NSFG or prior NSFG surveys, you must still follow the procedures specified for those datasets.


Contextual Data: The 2013-2015 contextual data file consists of six variables: CASEID, the State FIPS code, County FIPS code, Tract code, and Block group code of the respondent’s address at the time of the interview*, and the State FIPS code of the respondent’s address at the time of the previous Census. These data are only available to the research community through the NCHS and Census Research Data Centers (RDCs) due to the increased risk of deductive disclosure of individual respondent’s identities when geographic variables are linked to the survey data. FIPS codes can be used to merge external contextual information with the 2013–2015 NSFG public use files. For more information about using these data, including options on accessing the RDC and associated charges, visit the RDC website. Researchers may also find useful information for working with NSFG data through the RDC in the Community Environment and Women’s Health Outcomes: Contextual Data, Cdc-pdf[PDF – 5.2 MB].

* ‘Tract’ and ‘Block group’ variables were added after the initial release of this file, bringing the total number of variables from 4 to 6.


Region: Based on the respondent’s state of residence at the time of the interview, a 4-category REGION variable has been created and is available for statistical research purposes. REGION is provided to researchers free of charge, upon request, and can be merged onto the public use data files using the unique CASEID variable. Given the increased risk of deductive disclosure when REGION is merged with the public-use survey data, however, a user agreement must be signed before gaining access to this file.

This data file consists of two variables: CASEID and REGION. There are 10,205 records in this file—5,699 female respondent cases and 4,506 male respondent cases.

REGION [1] takes these values:
1 = Northeast
2 = Midwest
3 = South
4 = West


[1] United States Census Bureau, Census Bureau Regions and Divisions with State FIPS Codes. Available at:

If you wish to request the NSFG REGION variable for 2013–2015, please make your request by providing the following materials by email ( or regular mail to the address further below:

  • a brief summary, on your organization’s letterhead, of the proposed use of the REGION variable. (If you are a student, a faculty advisor should also provide a letter of support for the proposed research.)
  • a signed User’s Agreement Cdc-pdf[PDF – 38 KB], which describes the specific protections in place at your institution that meet the NCHS confidentiality standards for data users. Each data user who will have direct access to the REGION variable, including research assistants, must sign an agreement. If emailing the signed user agreements, they must be completely legible, good-quality scans in either PDF or JPG format.

NOTE: When manuscripts are prepared which include analyses including the REGION variable, the requestor must send them to NCHS before being submitted for publication so they can be assessed by NCHS staff for disclosure risk.

When your request is approved, you will be sent an encrypted, password-protected ASCII data file consisting of CASEID in columns 1-5, R_SEX in column 6 and REGION in column 7. Passwords will be forwarded when the requestor confirms receipt of the data file. NCHS makes every effort to process data requests promptly. Once the researcher provides the required materials, requests are typically reviewed within 2 business days, with files sent soon thereafter.

For additional information or questions about this variable, 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: October 26, 2017