Years Available
From 1973 to 2002, a total of six cycles of the survey were conducted. From June 2006 through September 2019, the survey was conducted continuously, with a break in field work between July 2010 and August 2011. NSFG data collection paused in September 2019 and is slated to resume under a new contract in 2022.
Continuous since 2006 (see above); a minimum of 2 data years is required for analyses.
Mode of Collection
Sample survey: in-person interviews, supplemented by audio computer-assisted self-administered interviews for more sensitive items.
The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) gathers information on pregnancy/birth histories, family formation (including marriage and cohabitation), infertility,use of contraception, and general and reproductive health. The NSFG is designed to be nationally representative of women and men ages 15 to 49 years in the household-based population of the United States. Prior to 2002, the NSFG included only women ages 15 to 44 years. Men ages 15 to 44 years were included in the survey in 2002; the age range was expanded to 15 to 49 years in 2015. The NSFG has been conducted through in-person interviews, with a portion of the more sensitive questions answered privately by self-administration. The interviews are voluntary and confidential.
Selected Content
Data elements include sexual activity, marriage, divorce and remarriage, unmarried cohabitation, forced sexual intercourse, contraception and sterilization, infertility, breastfeeding, pregnancy loss, low birthweight, and use of medical care for family planning and fertility.
Population Covered
Since the 2002 survey, men and women ages 15 to 44 years in the household population of the United States, and since 2015, men and women ages 15-49 in this same population.
From September 2015 through September 2019, interviews were conducted with a national probability sample of women and men 15 to 49 years of age living in households in the United States. The interviews were administered in person by trained female interviewers using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). A subset of more sensitive questions were administered using audio-computer assisted self-interviewing (ACASI). Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish, as appropriate. Hispanic persons, non-Hispanic black persons, and teens ages 15 to 19 years were oversampled. While the continuous design provides annual, nationally representative samples, data must be accumulated over multiple years for sufficient sample size. To produce national estimates,data for the interviewed sample are: (1) inflated by the reciprocal of the probability of selection at each stage of sampling; (b) adjusted for nonresponse; and (c) post stratified, or adjusted to match with benchmark population values based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Response Rates and Sample Size
For 2015-2017, interviews were conducted with 5,554 women and 4,540 men, for a total sample size of 10,094. The response rate was 66.7% for female respondents and 63.6% for male respondents. The overall response rate was 65.3%.
2015-2017 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG): Summary of Design and Data Collection Methods.