Health, United States consolidates the most current data on the health of the population of the United States, the availability and use of health care resources, and health care expenditures. Information was obtained from the data files and published reports of many federal government, private, and global agencies and organizations. In each case, the sponsoring agency or organization collected data using its own methods and procedures. Therefore, data in this report may vary considerably with respect to source, method of collection, definitions and reference period.
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) monitors the health of the U.S. population through the collection and analysis of data on a broad range of health topics. A major strength of this survey lies in its ability to analyze health measures by many demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. During household interviews, NHIS obtains information on activity limitation, illnesses, injuries, chronic conditions, health insurance coverage (or lack thereof), utilization of health care and other health topics.
The survey covers the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. Among those excluded are patients in long-term care facilities, persons on active duty with the Armed Forces (although their dependents are included), incarcerated persons and U.S. nationals living in foreign countries.
Some estimates are considered unreliable. Starting with 2016 data, the reliability of survey percentage estimates was assessed using new multistep National Center for Health Statistics data presentation standards for proportions. Prior to 2016 data, the reliability of estimates for earlier years was evaluated based on relative standard errors (RSE). Data not shown have an RSE greater than 30%. Data are based on persons responding to the questions, “During the past 12 months was there any time when person needed medical care but did not get it because person couldn’t afford it?” and “During the past 12 months has medical care been delayed because of worry about the cost?”
This also includes all other races not shown separately, unknown health insurance status, unknown education level and unknown disability status. The race groups white, black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and 2 or more races include persons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are tabulated according to the 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity and are not strictly comparable with estimates for earlier years. The five single-race categories and multiple-race categories shown in the table conform to the 1997 Standards. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are for persons who reported only one racial group; the category 2 or more races includes persons who reported more than one racial group. Prior to 1999, data were tabulated according to the 1977 Standards with four racial groups and the Asian only category included Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Estimates for single-race categories prior to 1999 included persons who reported one race, or if they reported more than one race, identified one race as best representing their race. Starting with 2003 data, race responses of other race and unspecified multiple races were treated as missing and then the race was imputed if these were the only race responses.
Estimates for education are for persons aged 25–64. GED is General Educational Development high school equivalency diploma. Percent of poverty level is based on family income and family size and composition using U.S. Census Bureau poverty thresholds. Missing family income data were imputed for 1997 and beyond.