Finding and Using Health Statistics

4. Finding Health Statistics Exercises

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

The National Center for Health Statistics has a mission to provide statistics and data that can guide public policies and actions. Its goal is to improve the health of Americans. It is the United States’ principal health statistics agency.1

The NCHS website provides access to many health statistics sources including published reports, data briefs on specific topics, and public-use data files. For example:

  • Health, United States is a report on national trends in health statistics. It includes detailed tables and charts on selected measures of morbidity, mortality, health status, risk factors, and health care use, among other topics.
  • FastStats is a site within the NCHS website that offers quick and easy access to statistics on specific health topics, from diseases and conditions to health care and insurance.
  • National Health Interview Survey: Interactive Data Query Systems is a web-based application giving access to pre-tabulated national data on a vast array of public health indicators over time. This tool allows users to customize tables by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic location.
  • The National Vital Statistics System provides access to the Nation’s official vital statistics, including births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. The webpage features links to statistical reports, training and instruction, and downloadable data files.


  1. Using the Health, United States, 2019 report, what was the life expectancy at birth in 2018? (Hint: Using the table of contents, look under "Health Status and Determinants.")

  1. The statistic featured in Question 1 is the result of data from which of the following surveys?

  1. Between 2014 and 2018, the life expectancy at birth has decreased. True or false?

  1. Find the percent of children of ever having asthma according to the NCHS Interactive Summary Health Statistics for Children for 2018.

1. "The NCHS Mission." National Center for Health Statistics, 2 Dec. 2022,