At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • The YRBS is part of the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) YRBSS and NYC survey follows the protocol developed by CDC, and the NYC questionnaire is adapted from the CDC developed core instrument.
  • The questionnaire measures tobacco, alcohol and drug use; behaviors that contribute to unintentional injury and violence; sexual behaviors; dietary behaviors; physical activity; and sleep. It also monitors the prevalence of obesity and asthma



The New York City Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) , like the national YRBS, is designed to determine the prevalence of health-risk behaviors among high school students; assess whether these behaviors increase, decrease, or stay the same over time; and examine the co-occurrence of health-risk behaviors.

Target Population

Public New York City high school students in grades 9 through 12 and middle school students in grades 6 through 8 across all five boroughs.


The YRBS has been conducted in odd number years since 1997, and in 2018 the first middle school YRBS was conducted. The most recent high school YRBS was conducted in 2019.


The New York City YRBS is conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Epidemiology, Bureau of Epidemiology Services in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education.


Sample Design

The NYC YRBS employs a stratified, two-stage cluster sample designed to produce a representative sample of students. Learn more  about the sampling design.

Source of Information

Students in randomly selected classes complete the self-administered paper and pencil survey.

Sample Size

Approximately 10,191 students in 2017 for the high school YRBS and 2,333 students in 2018 for the middle school YRBS.

Special Note(s)

The YRBS excludes students in juvenile detention centers, and alternative and special education schools. English as a Second Language (ESL) and special education classes in eligible high schools are also excluded from the sample.

Key Variables


NameMethods of Assessment


NameMethods of Assessment
Fruit/vegetable consumptionInterview/questionnaire
Sugary drink consumptionInterview/questionnaire

Physical Activity-Related

NameMethods of Assessment
Active transportation to schoolInterview/questionnaire
Physical activity/exerciseInterview/questionnaire
Screen time (i.e., TV, video, computer games)Interview/questionnaire


NameMethods of Assessment
Sleep duration and quantity: Total sleep time during workdays/schooldaysInterview/Questionnaire with Adolescent
Sleep timing and regularity: Time to bedInterview/Questionnaire with Adolescent
Sleep timing and regularity: Time woke upInterview/Questionnaire with Adolescent
Social sleep environment: Sleep location (e.g., living room)Interview/Questionnaire with Adolescent
Social sleep environment: OtherInterview/Questionnaire with Adolescent


NameMethods of Assessment


NameMethods of Assessment


NameMethods of Assessment
Driving behaviorInterview/questionnaire
Suicide/sad feelingsInterview/questionnaire
Tobacco and electronic vapor productsInterview/questionnaire
Alcohol and Drug useInterview/questionnaire
Sexual behaviorsInterview/questionnaire

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Obtain data by visiting the YRBS website



Special Note(s)

Data also can be accessed from EpiQuery, a web-based interactive query tool.


Geocode Variable(s)

Borough, Zip code

Existing Linkages

None found.

Selected Publications

Click here  for a full list of publications.


Borrell LN, Menendez BS, Joseph SP. Racial/ethnic disparities on self-reported hypertension in New York City: examining disparities among Hispanic subgroups. Ethnicity & Disease 2011 Autumn;21(4):429-436.

Jack D, Neckerman K, Schwartz-Soicher O, Lovasi GS, Quinn J, Richards C, Bader M, Weiss C, Konty K, Arno P, Viola D, Kerker B, Rundle A. Socio-economic status, neighbourhood food environments and consumption of fruits and vegetables in New York City. Public Health Nutrition 2013;6:1-9.

Tabaei BP, Chamany S, Driver CR, Kerker B, Silver L. Incidence of self-reported diabetes in New York City, 2002, 2004, and 2008 . Preventing Chronic Disease 2012;9:E114.

Yaemsiri S, Olson EC, He K, Kerker BD. Food concern and its associations with obesity and diabetes among lower-income New Yorkers. Public Health Nutrition 2012;15(1):39-47.


Codebook, Questionnaire and additional information:

EpiQuery Interactive Health Data Tool:

Publications and Reports: