Public Use Data
The CDC releases combined Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) datasets for national, state and large urban school districts from selected surveys from 1991 to 2019. For downloadable high school NYC YRBS data, visit the CDC’s YRBSS Data & Documentation page. High school 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).
In 2018, a middle school survey was conducted in NYC. These data are not yet available on the CDC’s YRBSS Data & Documentation page. You can get access to the dataset by emailing EpiDataRequest@health.nyc.gov.
For more information on the YRBS, see:
Prior to downloading a dataset, 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 high school NYC YRBS has included each year, review the high school question matrix (PDF). For question topics of the middle school NYC YRBS, review the middle school 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 2019 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. The CDC has not yet made available the 2018 NYC middle school dataset. You can get access to that dataset 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, 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)