New NCHS Rapid Surveys Provide Reliable, Actionable Data

For Immediate Release: February 21, 2024

Contact: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, Office of Communication (301) 458-4800

Hyattsville, MD — Today, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics debuted its new Rapid Surveys System and released the system’s first results. This new approach to collecting health information is designed to provide timely, reliable public health data about new, emerging, and priority health topics. The system advances CDC’s goal to accelerate data into action by providing quality data to support public health decision-making.

The NCHS Rapid Surveys System is a resource for people responsible for protecting health and wellness in the U.S., such as government officials, policymakers, and community leaders. The new system makes it easier for decision-makers to access data on important and diverse health topics.

This system includes questions sponsored by CDC programs and other partners. Questions address time-sensitive data needs, public health attitudes or behaviors, and work to improve concept measurement and inform future survey question design.

The current release, with information collected in August 2023, provides insights such as:

  • 32% of adults have never heard of Long COVID.
  • 17% of adults never use sunscreen on their face or other exposed skin.
  • 38% of adults use a portable air cleaner or purifier at home.
  • 47% of adults have heard of genetic testing for cancer. Among those, 71% were concerned it would affect their ability to get insurance or work.

Other topics in the current release include:

Topics included in the surveys will vary each round based on current health information needs. This flexibility ensures health-related insights relate to CDC and HHS priorities and initiatives.

Findings from the NCHS Rapid Surveys System first round, are available on the NCHS website at

More about the New System

Rapid Surveys are conducted several times a year using probability-based commercial online panels. This enables fast data collection with at least 4,000 adult participants in each round of data collection.

With this new system, data are available in online interactive dashboards, web tables and microdata files. It also includes documentation describing data quality and limitations.

Rapid Surveys use different methodology, have fewer participants, and have lower precision compared with other NCHS household surveys. However, before each public release, NCHS conducts an extensive review of the quality of all data collected.

The NCHS Rapid Surveys System will not replace the Center’s population health surveys, which provide the highest quality health data. The system will be used as an additional resource to obtain more timely data on health outcomes.