Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) - developed by the Centers for Disease Control - is the world’s largest, on-going telephone health survey system, tracking adult health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984.

Currently, data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.

System Usage
Washington State has used the system to:
  • Provide data for The Health of Washington State, a statewide assessment of health that includes measures of 50 health indicators, adapted from Washington State's 1994 Public Health Improvement Plan.
  • Provide model questions, procedures, analyses, and consultation to support statewide health assessment activities in all 33 local health jurisdictions.
  • Document the need for and monitor the progress of a prevention program targeting tobacco use.
  • Develop state-specific estimates of costs attributed to smoking.
Survey Reports
Whatcom County periodically does additional surveying (an over sample) of Whatcom residents in order to obtain a survey size that is representative of the entire population of the county. Over samples have been done in 1996, 2002, and in 2007.

The most current report focuses on findings from 2007 but also compares how survey responses have changed over these 3 survey administrations: