SMART: BRFSS City and County Data
Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends
A Brief History
Established in 1984 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a
state-based system of health surveys that collects information on health
risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and health care access
primarily related to chronic disease and injury. For many states, the BRFSS
is the only available source of timely, accurate data on health-related
Currently, data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. More than 350,000
adults are interviewed each year, making the BRFSS the largest telephone
health survey in the world. States use BRFSS data to identify emerging
health problems, establish and track health objectives, and develop and
evaluate public health policies and programs. Many
states also use BRFSS data to support health-related legislative efforts.
The Evolution of the SMART Project
As the usefulness of the BRFSS has increased, so has the demand for
local-level data. Although the BRFSS was designed to produce state-level
estimates, growth in the number of respondents has made it possible to
produce prevalence estimates for smaller areas and led to the Selected
Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends (SMART) project.
This analysis of BRFSS data has yielded estimates for over 170
metropolitan (with at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more
inhabitants) and micropolitan (with at least one urban cluster of at least
10,000 but less than 50,000 inhabitants) statistical areas. Estimates were
also calculated for those counties within these metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas that had a large enough sample size
in a given year.
With SMART, health officials now have access to local-level data
that are comparable across the nation. These data show that the
prevalence of certain behaviors may vary widely across metropolitan and micropolitan areas and counties. By filling a critical need for local area
surveillance data, this new analysis of BRFSS data will help local health
officials plan, implement, and evaluate their prevention efforts.
Go to SMART data
For more information on the BRFSS, see the About
BRFSS page and BRFSS FAQ. For more information
on SMART BRFSS, see the SMART FAQ.