As the Nation's principal health statistics agency, we compile statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve the health of our people. Disclaimer: Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of CDC.
In 1960, the National Office of Vital Statistics and the National Health Survey merged to form the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NCHS is one of 13 principal statistical agencies in the federal government. The Center has been located in a number of organizations within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and since 1987 has been part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Collaborating with other public and private health partners, NCHS employs a variety of data collection mechanisms to obtain accurate information from multiple sources. This process provides a broad perspective to help us understand the population’s health, influences on health, and health outcomes. We collect data from birth and death records, medical records, interview surveys, and through direct physical examinations and laboratory testing.
Our health statistics allow us to
• Document the health status of the population and of important subgroups.
• Identify disparities in health status and the use of health care by race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, region, and other population characteristics.
• Describe experiences with the health care system.
• Monitor trends in health status and health care delivery.
• Identify health problems.
• Support biomedical and health services research.
• Provide information for changing public policies and programs.
• Evaluate the impact of health policies and programs.