National Survey of Family Growth - (2011-2013) Female Respondent File

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The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) is designed and administered by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with several other federal agencies (see Acknowledgements). Since the NSFG began in 1973, there have been eight data release files. The purpose of the survey is to produce national estimates of:

- Factors affecting pregnancy, including sexual activity, contraceptive use, and infertility;
- The medical care associated with contraception, infertility, and childbirth;
- Factors affecting marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and adoption;
- Adoption and caring for nonbiological children
- Father involvement behaviors, and
- Men's and women's attitudes about sex, childbearing, and marriage.

The survey contains key religion variables that may relate to these topics. The survey results are used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other research and policy organizations to plan health services and health education programs, and to do statistical studies on the topics listed above.

For the 2011-2013 NSFG, statistical design, interviewing, and data processing have been conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR), under a contract with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), in collaboration with the NCHS NSFG. William Mosher served as Project Officer and Joyce Abma as Alternate Project Officer for the 2011-2013 data collection.
Data File
Cases: 5,601
Variables: 2,922
Weight Variable: WGT2011_2013
Since the NSFG data are based on a multi-stage probability-based, nationally representative sample of the household population aged 15-44, data users should understand how to account for the complex sample design when doing their analyses in order to obtain statistically valid results. Since the sample design for the 2011-2013 NSFG is the same as that for the 2006-2010, much of the information produced for that file release is applicable for 2011-2013. Please refer to the NSFG 2006-2010 User's Guide for more information.

In the NSFG, Hispanics, blacks, and teens were selected at higher rates than others in the 15-44 age group. Women also had a higher probability of selection than men. Each person in the sample represents a different number of people in the population. The number they represent is called a sampling weight. Sampling weights adjust for these different sampling rates, as well as for response rates and coverage rates, so that accurate national estimates can be made from the sample. The weights were adjusted to U.S. Census Bureau projections of the number of persons in age-sex-race-ethnicity subgroups. We strongly recommend using the weights in all analyses. Using the weights also will permit replication of the nationally representative estimates that appear in published NCHS reports.

The 2011-2013 data files each have one weight variable called "WGT2011_2013" applying to all 10,316 interviews (5,601 female interviews and 4,815 male interviews) conducted from September 2011 through September 2013. This "WGT2011-2013" variable yields estimates representative of the 61 million men and 61 million women in the household population aged 15-44 in the United States at the midpoint of the 2011-2013 interviewing (July 2012).
Data Collection
Date Collected: September 2011-September 2013
Original Survey (Instrument)
National Survey of Family Growth
Funded By
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Collection Procedures
Fieldwork for the 2011-2013 NSFG was conducted from September 2011 through September 2013. After sample respondents were selected based on screening interviews in selected households, in-person interviews were conducted with 5,601 women and 4,815 men 15-44 years of age for a total sample size of 10,416. The interviews were conducted by female interviewers trained specifically for the NSFG survey using laptop computers - a procedure called computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). The interviews for women averaged 80 minutes in length, and the interviews for men averaged 60 minutes. The response rate for the 2011-2013 NSFG was 72.8 percent overall - 73.4 percent for females and 72.1 percent for males.
Sampling Procedures
The sample is based on a multi-stage probability-based, nationally representative sample of the household population aged 15-44. The NSFG 2011-2013 includes oversamples for Hispanics, blacks, teens, and women. See the related methodological publications listed below, under the ARDA's related publications section, for more information.
Principal Investigators
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Related Publications
NSFG 2011-2013 User's Guide

Full list of related publications

Methodological publications:

Groves RM, Mosher WD, Lepkowski J, Kirgis NG. (2009) Planning and development of the continuous National Survey of Family Growth. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 1(48).

Lepkowski JM, Mosher WD, Davis KE, Groves RM, Van Hoewyk J. (2010) The 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth: Sample design and analysis of a continuous survey. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 2(150).

"Appendix 5: Summary of NSFG Questionnaire Changes - Years 1, 2, and 3 of Continuous NSFG." From:2006-2008 NSFG User's Guide.
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