Public Use Data
The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases combined Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) datasets for national, state and large urban school districts from selected surveys from 1991-2017. For downloadable NYC YRBS data, visit the CDC’s YRBSS Data & Documentation page. NYC YRBS data are available in the “Districts dat” file for the city overall starting in 1997, and for each of the five boroughs starting in 2003. Only some survey questions are available each year for New York City’s data (see #4 below).
For more information on the YRBS, visit:
Prior to downloading a dataset, please consult the CDC's Data Users Guide (PDF) and review the following information:
- Due to the disproportionate sampling and cluster design of the YRBS, data must be weighted and variance calculated using software programs capable of handling complex survey data, such as SAS, SUDAAN or STATA. Annotated sample code for analysis using SUDAAN is provided (PDF), including design statements and nesting variables.
- To analyze NYC YRBS data, use the variable "sitecode" to create a dataset retaining only records for the geographic area of interest (for example, the city overall or by borough).
- Specific items on the NYC YRBS change year-to-year, as programs develop initiatives or new public health issues emerge. For an overview of question topics that the NYC YRBS included each year, please review the question matrix (PDF).
- The datasets available from the CDC do not include data for all questions in the NYC YRBS. The datasets only include data from select questions asked in the 2017 YRBS questionnaire and in previous years. You can get access to more complete NYC YRBS datasets from the NYC Health Department by emailing EpiDatarequest@health.nyc.gov.
- Some behaviors and conditions are rare, or the sample sizes for some populations are small, which may make estimates unreliable. Our suggested guidelines for YRBS data reliability (PDF) incorporate relative standard error, confidence interval width and sample size.
- For any published analysis using downloadable YRBS data, please use the CDC’s suggested citations.
- YRBSS questionnaires should be cited as follows:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [survey year] Youth Risk Behavior Survey Questionnaire. Available at: www.cdc.gov/yrbs. Accessed on [date].
- YRBSS data in a publication should be cited as follows:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [survey year] Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data. Available at: www.cdc.gov/yrbs. Accessed on [date].
Sample SAS Code (PDF)