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Vital Health Stat 1. 2009 Sep;(48):1-64.

Planning and development of the continuous National Survey of Family Growth.

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  • 1Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Michigan, USA.



This report describes how the continuous National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) (begun in 2006) was designed, planned, and implemented. The NSFG is a continuous national survey of men and women 15-44 years of age designed to provide national estimates of factors affecting pregnancy and birth rates; men's and women's health; and parenting.


The survey used in-person, face-to-face interviews conducted by trained female interviewers. One person per household was interviewed from a national area probability sample. The data collection used computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). Separate questionnaires were used for male and female respondents. The last section of the questionnaires used a self-administered technique called audio computer-assisted self-interviewing or ACASI. Each data collection period lasted 12 weeks-10 weeks for "Phase 1," the main data collection protocol, and 2 weeks for "Phase 2," an intensive attempt to locate and interview nonrespondents.


Each year, about 5,000 persons were interviewed in about 33 areas, called primary sampling units (PSUs). Over a 4-year period, 110 PSUs will be used. This report gives an overview of the procedures used in the conduct of the continuous NSFG. A later report will describe response rates and other results of the data collection, but the early fieldwork has gone well.

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