Using the National Survey of Children’s Health Data to Address Health Disparities and Health Equity in Your State
March 2024

Submitted by The Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (DRC)


Health equity and health disparities have a major impact on health care delivery in the United States. The concepts of health equity and health disparities are intertwined.

Health equity refers to social justice in health—in other words, equal access to care for all persons, disadvantaged or not, and the right for all to be healthy.

Health disparities—specifically efforts to reduce health disparities—are one signal by which we can measure progress toward achieving health equity.


Access to high quality data is the first step in knowing where health disparities exist so that we can plan health equity interventions to mitigate them.

The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) is an excellent source of information on health-related disparities among our nation’s children. The survey annually includes information on children’s race and ethnicity, along with other variables related to disadvantage in the United States, such as health status and disabilities, parental education attainment, income level, neighborhood safety and amenities, and experiences of trauma. The data provide an excellent jumping-off point for addressing health equity in your state.

Many Ways to Analyze Data on Adverse Childhood Experiences

States can use data from the NSCH on the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (DRC) to compare population rates of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by children’s race and ethnicity.

For a quick at-a-glance view, look at the same information for every state in the United States using the DRC’s compare states feature. This approach allows you to sort states from highest to lowest in terms of proportion of ACEs experienced. You may be surprised to see that children of all races and ethnicities are experiencing ACEs.

For a different approach, try looking at how the distribution of children who experience two or more ACEs is spread across race and ethnicity categories.

For a broad view, use the compare states feature to see how all 50 states and the District of Columbia are doing.

State Title V Program National Performance Measures and National Outcome Measures

Data on the Title V 19 national performance measures and national outcome measures are also collected in the National Survey of Child’s Health and accessible from the DRC website. You can explore each of these at the national and/or state level by parental educational attainment, income level, race/ethnicity, and many other markers associated with health disparities in the United States.

Visit the DRC website today to start learning about health disparities in your state so that you have all the background information you need to begin planning programs to improve health equity.

About the NSCH

The NSCH is a national survey, funded and directed by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The survey provides rich data on multiple, intersecting aspects of children’s health and well-being, including physical and mental health, access to and quality of health care, and the child’s family, neighborhood, school, and social context. Request NSCH datasets in SAS, Stata, and SPSS formats with accompanying codebooks on the DRC website. The DRC is brought to you by the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. For more information, take a short video tour or contact the CAHMI-DRC team through the team’s Ask Us a Question page. This page contains FAQs and common technical assistance (TA) questions and responses. If you are unable to find what you need, please submit your question through a TA request form. Note that for reporting purposes, the CAHMI-DRC will respond once you submit your question or request through the webpage.