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Data Files & Questionnaires

Getting Started

New to NHES? Start here…

Explore NCES dataset trainings

These online trainings provide an introduction to the NHES and other NCES datasets. The NHES training can be found under “SAMPLE SURVEYS – CROSS-SECTIONAL.

Read the data file user's manual

User’s manuals are available for all NHES survey years. Pay attention to the chapters on data considerations and anomalies, weights and standard errors, and derived variables. Derived variables are composites of questionnaire variables that are created to aid in data analysis.

Look at the questionnaire

Review the questionnaire for the year of data you are interested in. The questionnaire will help you determine the relevant items and their associated variable names for your planned analysis.

Review the Online Codebook

Review descriptive information about relevant variables and survey years in the Online Codebook, available in the DataLab. The Online Codebook includes value labels, frequency counts, and percentage distributions for all variables in the data file.

Get NHES Data

There are three primary ways to access NHES public-use data: Online Codebook, direct downloads, and DataLab.

Online Codebook

NHES public-use data files since 1991 are available by downloading them from the NCES website using Online Codebook. This codebook allows you to download the data, or a subset of the data, in SPSS, SAS, S-Plus, Stata, or R statistical programming files. You may also choose to download an ASCII or CSV file. Online Codebook is also a great tool for exploring variables and frequencies.

Direct Downloads

Download data file users’ manuals, codebooks, and public-use data files. NHES:2023 data files will be available in late 2024.


If you want to analyze NHES data online without downloading data, DataLab is for you! Data from recent NHES collections are in DataLab’s online data analysis tool called PowerStats. PowerStats allows for simple crosstabular analyses, as well as more complex analyses, including regression analysis, and the analysis of data across survey years.

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