NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey

The NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is conducted through an ongoing collaboration between the NYC Health Department, the Department of Education and the CDC. The YRBS is part of the CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

Based on the protocol developed by CDC, the survey has been conducted in odd-numbered years since 1997. The survey's primary purpose is to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of mortality, morbidity and social problems among youth in the city.

Public high school students in grades 9 through 12 — and, beginning in 2018, public middle school students in grades 6 through 8 — complete a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire that measures a variety of behaviors, including:

  • Tobacco, alcohol and drug use
  • Unintentional injury
  • Violence
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Dietary behaviors
  • Physical activity

The high school NYC YRBS can provide prevalence data for the city as a whole, for each of the five boroughs (between 2003 to 2019), and since 2005 for three high-risk neighborhoods — the South Bronx, North and Central Brooklyn, and East and Central Harlem in Manhattan — where the Health Department has its Neighborhood Health Action Centers, formerly known as District Public Health Offices. The 2021 high school YRBS is limited to providing citywide prevalence data. The middle school YRBS provides citywide prevalence data.

For more information on high school YRBS methodology, see the Comprehensive YRBS High School Methods Report (PDF). For more information on middle school YRBS methodology, see the Comprehensive YRBS Middle School Methods Report (PDF).

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