The National Center for Health Statistics Launches New Rapid Surveys System

Posted on by Whitney Anderson

The image shows a stopwatch and report icons with text reading, “NCHS Rapid Surveys System. New methods, faster results. Getting the right data in the right hands at the right time.”Rapid and reliable response to public health needs has never been more crucial than in today’s world. The National Center for Health Statistics is now partnering with other CDC programs and government survey experts to fill information gaps by providing access to timely data through its new Rapid Surveys System.


Rapid Surveys are surveys fielded using probability-based commercial online panels. Each survey includes a variety of questions based on CDC’s needs at that time. No two Rapid Surveys are the same. As a result, Rapid Surveys continually reveal new insights about public health.

Rapid Surveys can be used to:

  • Collect data on niche, emerging, or priority health topics
  • Close health information gaps
  • Learn how values and beliefs can affect access, care, and wellness
  • Assess questionnaire design to ensure data collection is meaningful

NCHS has released data from the first-round survey. This survey includes topics such as:


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

“Because Rapid Surveys take less time to field survey responses than traditional surveys, we’re able to get needed data out to the public at a more efficient pace,” said Stephen Blumberg, Ph.D., Director of the NCHS Division of Health Interview Statistics. “These data can help users, such as CDC programs, other government officials, and community leaders, to better understand the prevalence of health concerns, threats, and behaviors in order to make evidence-based decisions.”

To ensure Rapid Survey data are sound, NCHS completes a thorough scientific review. Once this step is complete, estimates are released through web tables with basic descriptive statistics. There are also online interactive dashboards with pre-tabulated estimates that allow users to customize their own search for information about health topics and demographics of interest. Data files that enable researchers to do their own analyses will also be available.

To learn more about this exciting new initiative, visit the Rapid Surveys System website and access our latest data.

Posted on by Whitney AndersonTags
Page last reviewed: February 21, 2024
Page last updated: February 21, 2024