This data snapshot profiles New Yorkers’ health behaviors, focusing on questions related to obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, binge drinking, and various screening and preventive services. Tracking trends in risk factors and health behaviors provides important indicators for population health outcomes.

The snapshot uses nationally administered survey data on adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Many states use the BRFSS data as a tool for targeting health promotion activities. For example, the New York State Department of Health pegs several of its Prevention Agenda initiatives to BRFSS measures. See the Methods section for more detail about data.

In a user-friendly format, this snapshot provides a set of three exhibits for each selected health indicator:

  1. How New York State compares with all other states.
  2. Geographic variation across counties in New York State, including changes over time.
  3. How New York State compares over time to the national median.

In 2016, New York State was better than the majority of states for half of the indicators examined, including a lower prevalence of obesity and smoking, as well as higher rates of HIV screenings and flu vaccinations. Trends over time in New Yorkers’ health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services tend to move upward or downward consistently with national patterns. This means that while the prevalence of obesity and diabetes is lower in New York relative to the rest of the nation, the trends are still heading in the wrong direction. Finally, the county-level data show wide variation in these population health indicators across the State, signaling opportunities for more targeted interventions at the county levels.

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Physical Inactivity by State, 2016

New York ranks in the bottom half of states for physical activity levels.

Physical inactivity rates are calculated based on the proportion of the population that reports no leisure-time physical activity in the past 30 days. Rates of physical inactivity have remained fairly steady over time, both in New York State and across the nation as a whole. New York is typically less active than the nation, ranking 37th out of 50 in 2016, and far behind several neighboring states. Within the State, New York County (Manhattan) has consistently been one of the most physically active (only 17.5% report no physical activity in the past month in 2013), while the outer-borough counties of New York City rank at the bottom (26–31%). Notably, New York’s physical inactivity is at odds with its obesity rate, which is among the lowest in the nation. It should be noted that it is possible to not participate in leisure-time physical activity and still be physically active, particularly for New Yorkers living in the outer boroughs, who may do a considerable amount of walking as part of their daily commutes.

BRFSS Question: “During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise?” Percentages reported in exhibits reflect participants that responded “No.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Physical Inactivity by New York County, 2004-2013

New York County is one of the most physically active counties, while the outer-borough counties of New York City rank toward the bottom.

Physical inactivity rates are calculated based on the proportion of the population that reports no leisure-time physical activity in the past 30 days. Rates of physical inactivity have remained fairly steady over time, both in New York State and across the nation as a whole. New York is typically less active than the nation, ranking 37th out of 50 in 2016, and far behind several neighboring states. Within the State, New York County (Manhattan) has consistently been one of the most physically active (only 17.5% report no physical activity in the past month in 2013), while the outer-borough counties of New York City rank at the bottom (26–31%). Notably, New York’s physical inactivity is at odds with its obesity rate, which is among the lowest in the nation. It should be noted that it is possible to not participate in leisure-time physical activity and still be physically active, particularly for New Yorkers living in the outer boroughs, who may do a considerable amount of walking as part of their daily commutes.

BRFSS Question: “During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise?” Percentages reported in exhibits reflect participants that responded “No.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Physical Inactivity in N.Y. and U.S., 2000-2016

Activity levels have remained relatively steady over time.

Physical inactivity rates are calculated based on the proportion of the population that reports no leisure-time physical activity in the past 30 days. Rates of physical inactivity have remained fairly steady over time, both in New York State and across the nation as a whole. New York is typically less active than the nation, ranking 37th out of 50 in 2016, and far behind several neighboring states. Within the State, New York County (Manhattan) has consistently been one of the most physically active (only 17.5% report no physical activity in the past month in 2013), while the outer-borough counties of New York City rank at the bottom (26–31%). Notably, New York’s physical inactivity is at odds with its obesity rate, which is among the lowest in the nation. It should be noted that it is possible to not participate in leisure-time physical activity and still be physically active, particularly for New Yorkers living in the outer boroughs, who may do a considerable amount of walking as part of their daily commutes.

*Median value
BRFSS Question: “During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise?” Percentages reported in exhibits reflect participants that responded “No.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ne solet platonem qui, simul eirmod has et. Pri elit argumentum ut, te mel labores suscipit necessitatibus. Pri dicam delectus intellegam eu, vis et natum simul quando. Has natum lobortis no.

Ex per quem ubique delectus. Ei voluptua rationibus pro. Purto partem euripidis ad vix, soluta scripta albucius duo et. Ut meis efficiantur nec, ad per mazim postea nominavi. Commune molestie indoctum cu eos, te mundi tractatos mea. Ei vix meis reprimique, ut usu duis autem commune.

Vis vivendo voluptatum omittantur te. Ex eam homero tincidunt. Sea impedit nostrum ut, te nec dissentiet mediocritatem vituperatoribus. Sea nihil choro ne, falli noster feugait ea mel, legere nonumes ne vix. Vel legere epicuri ei, ne aliquid aliquam eam.

Id vel homero recteque. Mel ei audiam deserunt, nostrud apeirian concludaturque cum ad. Vim integre dissentiunt ea. Vide animal laboramus cu mel. Mel at porro placerat pericula. Vim at commodo utroque, ne mea ullum movet mediocrem.

Iisque blandit ex mel, mea ludus lobortis ei. Ea affert accommodare complectitur his, et qui quot fastidii. Ipsum nostrum an pri. Te vix sint periculis, qui cu nostrud urbanitas.

Obesity by State, 2016

New York is the seventh least-obese state in the country.

Obesity rates are measured by the number of BRFSS respondents who report height and weight measurements that give them a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Rates of obesity have increased substantially from 2000 to 2016, both in New York State (17.7% to 25.5%) and nationally (20.0% to 29.9%). New York’s obesity rate has been consistently lower than the national rate, but these dramatic increases are still alarming. Obesity rates in New York are generally higher in upstate counties. Overall, New York is the seventh least-obese state in the nation, and the obesity rate in the State is slightly lower since its peak of 27.0% in 2014.

BRFSS Question: CDC-Calculated Obesity Variable (CDC-Calculated BMI greater than or equal to 30). Formulated based off of questions requesting respondent height and weight.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Obesity by New York County, 2003-2013

Obesity rates in New York are generally higher in upstate counties, as well as in Bronx County.

Obesity rates are measured by the number of BRFSS respondents who report height and weight measurements that give them a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Rates of obesity have increased substantially from 2000 to 2016, both in New York State (17.7% to 25.5%) and nationally (20.0% to 29.9%). New York’s obesity rate has been consistently lower than the national rate, but these dramatic increases are still alarming. Obesity rates in New York are generally higher in upstate counties. Overall, New York is the seventh least-obese state in the nation, and the obesity rate in the State is slightly lower since its peak of 27.0% in 2014.

BRFSS Question: CDC-Calculated Obesity Variable (CDC-Calculated BMI greater than or equal to 30). Formulated based off of questions requesting respondent height and weight.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Obesity in N.Y. and U.S., 2000-2016

While obesity rates in New York are below the national median, they have risen substantially since 2000.

Obesity rates are measured by the number of BRFSS respondents who report height and weight measurements that give them a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Rates of obesity have increased substantially from 2000 to 2016, both in New York State (17.7% to 25.5%) and nationally (20.0% to 29.9%). New York’s obesity rate has been consistently lower than the national rate, but these dramatic increases are still alarming. Obesity rates in New York are generally higher in upstate counties. Overall, New York is the seventh least-obese state in the nation, and the obesity rate in the State is slightly lower since its peak of 27.0% in 2014.

*Median value
BRFSS Question: CDC-Calculated Obesity Variable (CDC-Calculated BMI greater than or equal to 30). Formulated based off of questions requesting respondent height and weight.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Diabetes by State, 2016

Approximately 10.5% of New Yorkers have been diagnosed with diabetes.

New York State’s physician-diagnosed diabetes rate has risen similarly to the national rate. In 2000, New York’s diabetes rate of 6.3% was just above the national median of 6.1%; by 2016, both had increased significantly to 10.5%. Within the State, diabetes rates are highest in the upstate counties of Hamilton, Steuben, Washington, and Delaware, and in the outer borough counties of New York City.

BRFSS Question: “Has a doctor, nurse, or other health professional ever told you that you had any of the following? For each, tell me “Yes”, “No”, or you’re “Not sure.”…..(Ever told) you have diabetes?” Percentages above based on respondents indicating “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Diabetes by New York County, 2004-2013

In 2013, the rates of diabetes ranged from 6.7% in New York County to 12.3% in Bronx County.

New York State’s physician-diagnosed diabetes rate has risen similarly to the national rate. In 2000, New York’s diabetes rate of 6.3% was just above the national median of 6.1%; by 2016, both had increased significantly to 10.5%. Within the State, diabetes rates are highest in the upstate counties of Hamilton, Steuben, Washington, and Delaware, and in the outer borough counties of New York City.

BRFSS Question: “Has a doctor, nurse, or other health professional ever told you that you had any of the following? For each, tell me “Yes”, “No”, or you’re “Not sure.”…..(Ever told) you have diabetes?” Percentages above based on respondents indicating “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

Diabetes in N.Y. and U.S., 2000-2016

Rates of diabetes have dramatically increased over time, both in New York and nationally.

New York State’s physician-diagnosed diabetes rate has risen similarly to the national rate. In 2000, New York’s diabetes rate of 6.3% was just above the national median of 6.1%; by 2016, both had increased significantly to 10.5%. Within the State, diabetes rates are highest in the upstate counties of Hamilton, Steuben, Washington, and Delaware, and in the outer borough counties of New York City.

*Median value
BRFSS Question: “Has a doctor, nurse, or other health professional ever told you that you had any of the following? For each, tell me “Yes”, “No”, or you’re “Not sure.”…..(Ever told) you have diabetes?” Percentages above based on respondents indicating “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Diabetes Home. County Data Indicators. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2013.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)  is a nationally representative survey of health-related behaviors and risk factors that is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The surveys are telephone based (both landline and cellular) conducted by state health departments, using standardized questionnaires. Non-institutionalized adults (18+) are eligible for the survey.

State and national-level aggregations of the survey data for this snapshot were extracted from publicly available BRFSS files on the CDC website. Some questions are routinely added and removed, while certain questions remain consistent from year to year. We focused our data snapshot on the questions that were consistently available over time.

County-level aggregations used for this data snapshot were available from various sources. The CDC Diabetes County Data Indicator provides county-level estimates for diabetes-related health indicators (obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes diagnoses). Additionally, some states conduct expanded BRFSS (eBRFSS) surveys in certain years to generate a larger sample size of state residents, allowing for more detailed analysis below the state level. New York State has eBRFSS data available for 2002–2003, 2008–2009, and 2013–2014, as well as 2016 for certain measures. The eBRFSS data is available by county or for groups of counties, depending on the year and sample size. The differing sample used for eBRFSS may lead to some data inconsistencies between county-level and state-level data. This is most notable in the New York data for flu and pneumonia vaccination data, where county-level estimates were higher. No adjustments were made in this data snapshot to standardize the estimates across samples.

While the sample size is among the largest of all social surveys and weighted to accurately reflect the population of adult residents at the national, state, and county levels, there are still limitations to using this data. Most notably, all BRFSS responses are self-reported, so respondents are likely to under-report certain unhealthy behaviors and/or refuse to answer certain questions. Additionally, several questions ask for specific measurements, such as height and weight, which respondents may estimate incorrectly.

Smoking by State, 2016

New York has the ninth-lowest smoking rate of any state in the country.

Smoking rates are defined as the proportion of the population that currently smokes cigarettes on a daily or occasional basis. Rates of smoking have declined dramatically between 2000 and 2016, both in New York State and across the nation. New York’s smoking rates fell 7.4 percentage points during this time period (21.6% to 14.2%), while the national median fell 6.1 percentage points (23.2% to 17.1%). New York is ranked seventh-best in the nation in smoking rates. Within the State, New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley counties generally have much lower rates of smoking than upstate counties. In some upstate areas, smoking rates exceed 25%, as compared with just over 10% in many of the downstate counties (2013–2014 data).

BRFSS Question: Current Smoker Calculated Variable: Adults who are current smokers.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002-2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2002-2003 (combined), 2008-2009 (combined), and 2013-2014 (combined) for this variable.

Smoking by New York County, 2002-2014

By 2013–2017, counties in the New York City, Long Island, and Hudson Valley regions generally had the lowest rates of smoking.

Smoking rates are defined as the proportion of the population that currently smokes cigarettes on a daily or occasional basis. Rates of smoking have declined dramatically between 2000 and 2016, both in New York State and across the nation. New York’s smoking rates fell 7.4 percentage points during this time period (21.6% to 14.2%), while the national median fell 6.1 percentage points (23.2% to 17.1%). New York is ranked seventh-best in the nation in smoking rates. Within the State, New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley counties generally have much lower rates of smoking than upstate counties. In some upstate areas, smoking rates exceed 25%, as compared with just over 10% in many of the downstate counties (2013–2014 data).

BRFSS Question: Current Smoker Calculated Variable: Adults who are current smokers.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002-2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2002-2003 (combined), 2008-2009 (combined), and 2013-2014 (combined) for this variable.

Smoking in N.Y. and U.S., 2000-2016

Rates of smoking have decreased significantly, more so in New York State than nationally.

Smoking rates are defined as the proportion of the population that currently smokes cigarettes on a daily or occasional basis. Rates of smoking have declined dramatically between 2000 and 2016, both in New York State and across the nation. New York’s smoking rates fell 7.4 percentage points during this time period (21.6% to 14.2%), while the national median fell 6.1 percentage points (23.2% to 17.1%). New York is ranked seventh-best in the nation in smoking rates. Within the State, New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley counties generally have much lower rates of smoking than upstate counties. In some upstate areas, smoking rates exceed 25%, as compared with just over 10% in many of the downstate counties (2013–2014 data).

*Median value
BRFSS Question: Current Smoker Calculated Variable: Adults who are current smokers.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002-2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2002-2003 (combined), 2008-2009 (combined), and 2013-2014 (combined) for this variable.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)  is a nationally representative survey of health-related behaviors and risk factors that is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The surveys are telephone based (both landline and cellular) conducted by state health departments, using standardized questionnaires. Non-institutionalized adults (18+) are eligible for the survey.

State and national-level aggregations of the survey data for this snapshot were extracted from publicly available BRFSS files on the CDC website. Some questions are routinely added and removed, while certain questions remain consistent from year to year. We focused our data snapshot on the questions that were consistently available over time.

County-level aggregations used for this data snapshot were available from various sources. The CDC Diabetes County Data Indicator provides county-level estimates for diabetes-related health indicators (obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes diagnoses). Additionally, some states conduct expanded BRFSS (eBRFSS) surveys in certain years to generate a larger sample size of state residents, allowing for more detailed analysis below the state level. New York State has eBRFSS data available for 2002–2003, 2008–2009, and 2013–2014, as well as 2016 for certain measures. The eBRFSS data is available by county or for groups of counties, depending on the year and sample size. The differing sample used for eBRFSS may lead to some data inconsistencies between county-level and state-level data. This is most notable in the New York data for flu and pneumonia vaccination data, where county-level estimates were higher. No adjustments were made in this data snapshot to standardize the estimates across samples.

While the sample size is among the largest of all social surveys and weighted to accurately reflect the population of adult residents at the national, state, and county levels, there are still limitations to using this data. Most notably, all BRFSS responses are self-reported, so respondents are likely to under-report certain unhealthy behaviors and/or refuse to answer certain questions. Additionally, several questions ask for specific measurements, such as height and weight, which respondents may estimate incorrectly.

Binge Drinking by State, 2016

In 2016, approximately 17.5% of New York residents reported binge drinking in the last month.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion for men, and four or more for women. New York and national rates of binge drinking have stayed relatively consistent between 15% and 20% since 2000. New York falls in the middle of all states on this measure, with the 29th-lowest binge drinking rate in the nation in 2016. In contrast with its positive ranking on several other health behaviors, New York County (Manhattan) had one of the highest binge drinking rates in the State in 2016, at 23%.

BRFSS Question: Considering all types of alcoholic beverages, how many times during the past 30 days did you have 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women on an occasion? Percentages above based on individuals reporting one or more binge drinking events in the past 30 days.
Note: This question was only asked to survey respondents who indicated they had consumed at least one drink in the past month. Rates used here are based off of the proportion of respondents who reported binge drinking to the total respondent population.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002-2016.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2002-2003 (combined), 2008-2009 (combined), 2013-2014 (combined), and 2016 for this variable.

Binge Drinking by New York County, 2002-2016

In 2016, New York County had one of the highest binge drinking rates in the State.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion for men, and four or more for women. New York and national rates of binge drinking have stayed relatively consistent between 15% and 20% since 2000. New York falls in the middle of all states on this measure, with the 29th-lowest binge drinking rate in the nation in 2016. In contrast with its positive ranking on several other health behaviors, New York County (Manhattan) had one of the highest binge drinking rates in the State in 2016, at 23%.

BRFSS Question: Considering all types of alcoholic beverages, how many times during the past 30 days did you have 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women on an occasion? Percentages above based on individuals reporting one or more binge drinking events in the past 30 days.
Note: This question was only asked to survey respondents who indicated they had consumed at least one drink in the past month. Rates used here are based off of the proportion of respondents who reported binge drinking to the total respondent population.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002-2016.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2002-2003 (combined), 2008-2009 (combined), 2013-2014 (combined), and 2016 for this variable.

Binge Drinking in N.Y. and U.S., 2001-2016

State and national rates of binge drinking have stayed relatively consistent.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion for men, and four or more for women. New York and national rates of binge drinking have stayed relatively consistent between 15% and 20% since 2000. New York falls in the middle of all states on this measure, with the 29th-lowest binge drinking rate in the nation in 2016. In contrast with its positive ranking on several other health behaviors, New York County (Manhattan) had one of the highest binge drinking rates in the State in 2016, at 23%.

*Median value
BRFSS Question: Considering all types of alcoholic beverages, how many times during the past 30 days did you have 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women on an occasion? Percentages above based on individuals reporting one or more binge drinking events in the past 30 days.
Note: This question was only asked to survey respondents who indicated they had consumed at least one drink in the past month. Rates used here are based off of the proportion of respondents who reported binge drinking to the total respondent population.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002-2016.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2002-2003 (combined), 2008-2009 (combined), 2013-2014 (combined), and 2016 for this variable.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)  is a nationally representative survey of health-related behaviors and risk factors that is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The surveys are telephone based (both landline and cellular) conducted by state health departments, using standardized questionnaires. Non-institutionalized adults (18+) are eligible for the survey.

State and national-level aggregations of the survey data for this snapshot were extracted from publicly available BRFSS files on the CDC website. Some questions are routinely added and removed, while certain questions remain consistent from year to year. We focused our data snapshot on the questions that were consistently available over time.

County-level aggregations used for this data snapshot were available from various sources. The CDC Diabetes County Data Indicator provides county-level estimates for diabetes-related health indicators (obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes diagnoses). Additionally, some states conduct expanded BRFSS (eBRFSS) surveys in certain years to generate a larger sample size of state residents, allowing for more detailed analysis below the state level. New York State has eBRFSS data available for 2002–2003, 2008–2009, and 2013–2014, as well as 2016 for certain measures. The eBRFSS data is available by county or for groups of counties, depending on the year and sample size. The differing sample used for eBRFSS may lead to some data inconsistencies between county-level and state-level data. This is most notable in the New York data for flu and pneumonia vaccination data, where county-level estimates were higher. No adjustments were made in this data snapshot to standardize the estimates across samples.

While the sample size is among the largest of all social surveys and weighted to accurately reflect the population of adult residents at the national, state, and county levels, there are still limitations to using this data. Most notably, all BRFSS responses are self-reported, so respondents are likely to under-report certain unhealthy behaviors and/or refuse to answer certain questions. Additionally, several questions ask for specific measurements, such as height and weight, which respondents may estimate incorrectly.

Flu Vaccine by State, 2016

About 40% of New Yorkers received a flu shot in 2016.

New York stood at 23rd in the nation for the flu shot in 2016. Most New York counties saw increases in vaccination rates between the 2008–2009 and 2013–2014 data. New York’s flu vaccine rates have gradually increased over time, alongside the national median, though typically slightly above it. In 2013–2014, counties in New York City had lower vaccination rates than most of the rest of the State, while several counties in Western New York and the Capital Region had high rates.

BRFSS Question: During the past 12 months, have you had either a flu shot or a flu vaccine that was sprayed in your nose? Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001–2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008–2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2008–2009 (combined) and 2013–2014 (combined) for this variable.

Flu Vaccine by New York County, 2008-2014

The flu vaccination rate has increased over time in most New York counties.

New York stood at 23rd in the nation for the flu shot in 2016. Most New York counties saw increases in vaccination rates between the 2008–2009 and 2013–2014 data. New York’s flu vaccine rates have gradually increased over time, alongside the national median, though typically slightly above it. In 2013–2014, counties in New York City had lower vaccination rates than most of the rest of the State, while several counties in Western New York and the Capital Region had high rates.

BRFSS Question: During the past 12 months, have you had either a flu shot or a flu vaccine that was sprayed in your nose? Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001–2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008–2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2008–2009 (combined) and 2013–2014 (combined) for this variable.

Flu Vaccine in N.Y. and U.S., 2001-2016

Changes in New York’s flu vaccination rate mirror the national median.

New York stood at 23rd in the nation for the flu shot in 2016. Most New York counties saw increases in vaccination rates between the 2008–2009 and 2013–2014 data. New York’s flu vaccine rates have gradually increased over time, alongside the national median, though typically slightly above it. In 2013–2014, counties in New York City had lower vaccination rates than most of the rest of the State, while several counties in Western New York and the Capital Region had high rates.

*Median value
BRFSS Question: During the past 12 months, have you had either a flu shot or a flu vaccine that was sprayed in your nose? Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001–2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008–2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2008–2009 (combined) and 2013–2014 (combined) for this variable.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)  is a nationally representative survey of health-related behaviors and risk factors that is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The surveys are telephone based (both landline and cellular) conducted by state health departments, using standardized questionnaires. Non-institutionalized adults (18+) are eligible for the survey.

State and national-level aggregations of the survey data for this snapshot were extracted from publicly available BRFSS files on the CDC website. Some questions are routinely added and removed, while certain questions remain consistent from year to year. We focused our data snapshot on the questions that were consistently available over time.

County-level aggregations used for this data snapshot were available from various sources. The CDC Diabetes County Data Indicator provides county-level estimates for diabetes-related health indicators (obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes diagnoses). Additionally, some states conduct expanded BRFSS (eBRFSS) surveys in certain years to generate a larger sample size of state residents, allowing for more detailed analysis below the state level. New York State has eBRFSS data available for 2002–2003, 2008–2009, and 2013–2014, as well as 2016 for certain measures. The eBRFSS data is available by county or for groups of counties, depending on the year and sample size. The differing sample used for eBRFSS may lead to some data inconsistencies between county-level and state-level data. This is most notable in the New York data for flu and pneumonia vaccination data, where county-level estimates were higher. No adjustments were made in this data snapshot to standardize the estimates across samples.

While the sample size is among the largest of all social surveys and weighted to accurately reflect the population of adult residents at the national, state, and county levels, there are still limitations to using this data. Most notably, all BRFSS responses are self-reported, so respondents are likely to under-report certain unhealthy behaviors and/or refuse to answer certain questions. Additionally, several questions ask for specific measurements, such as height and weight, which respondents may estimate incorrectly.

Pneumonia Vaccine by State, 2016

New York’s pneumonia vaccination rate for seniors is among the lowest in the country.

New York State’s rates of pneumonia vaccination among elderly populations (65+) are among the lowest in the nation (45th). Rates have increased gradually over time, with the national median vaccination rate around two to three points higher than New York’s, on average. New York City counties have the lowest or second-lowest pneumonia vaccine rates in the State in both years of data examined by county. County-level variation in pneumonia vaccines is wide, with some counties having rates of above 80%. Northern and Western New York counties generally have higher vaccination rates than the downstate or Central New York regions.

BRFSS Question: Pneumonia vaccine calculated variable. A pneumonia shot or pneumococcal vaccine is usually given only once or twice in a person´s lifetime and is different from the flu shot. Have you ever had a pneumonia shot? Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes” who had a recorded age of 65 or greater.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008-2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2008-2009 (combined) and 2013-2014 (combined) for this variable.

Pneumonia Vaccine by New York County, 2008-2014

The New York City counties have generally ranked toward the bottom in pneumonia vaccine rates.

New York State’s rates of pneumonia vaccination among elderly populations (65+) are among the lowest in the nation (45th). Rates have increased gradually over time, with the national median vaccination rate around two to three points higher than New York’s, on average. New York City counties have the lowest or second-lowest pneumonia vaccine rates in the State in both years of data examined by county. County-level variation in pneumonia vaccines is wide, with some counties having rates of above 80%. Northern and Western New York counties generally have higher vaccination rates than the downstate or Central New York regions.

BRFSS Question: Pneumonia vaccine calculated variable. A pneumonia shot or pneumococcal vaccine is usually given only once or twice in a person´s lifetime and is different from the flu shot. Have you ever had a pneumonia shot? Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes” who had a recorded age of 65 or greater.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008-2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2008-2009 (combined) and 2013-2014 (combined) for this variable.

Pneumonia Vaccine in N.Y. and U.S., 2002-2016

New York’s pneumonia vaccination rates have remained fairly consistent over time, but generally below national levels.

New York State’s rates of pneumonia vaccination among elderly populations (65+) are among the lowest in the nation (45th). Rates have increased gradually over time, with the national median vaccination rate around two to three points higher than New York’s, on average. New York City counties have the lowest or second-lowest pneumonia vaccine rates in the State in both years of data examined by county. County-level variation in pneumonia vaccines is wide, with some counties having rates of above 80%. Northern and Western New York counties generally have higher vaccination rates than the downstate or Central New York regions.

*Median value
BRFSS Question: Pneumonia vaccine calculated variable. A pneumonia shot or pneumococcal vaccine is usually given only once or twice in a person´s lifetime and is different from the flu shot. Have you ever had a pneumonia shot? Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes” who had a recorded age of 65 or greater.
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
County-Level Data: New York State Department of Health. Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (eBRFSS) Data. Albany, New York; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008-2014.
Note: eBRFSS data are only available at the county level for 2008-2009 (combined) and 2013-2014 (combined) for this variable.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)  is a nationally representative survey of health-related behaviors and risk factors that is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The surveys are telephone based (both landline and cellular) conducted by state health departments, using standardized questionnaires. Non-institutionalized adults (18+) are eligible for the survey.

State and national-level aggregations of the survey data for this snapshot were extracted from publicly available BRFSS files on the CDC website. Some questions are routinely added and removed, while certain questions remain consistent from year to year. We focused our data snapshot on the questions that were consistently available over time.

County-level aggregations used for this data snapshot were available from various sources. The CDC Diabetes County Data Indicator provides county-level estimates for diabetes-related health indicators (obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes diagnoses). Additionally, some states conduct expanded BRFSS (eBRFSS) surveys in certain years to generate a larger sample size of state residents, allowing for more detailed analysis below the state level. New York State has eBRFSS data available for 2002–2003, 2008–2009, and 2013–2014, as well as 2016 for certain measures. The eBRFSS data is available by county or for groups of counties, depending on the year and sample size. The differing sample used for eBRFSS may lead to some data inconsistencies between county-level and state-level data. This is most notable in the New York data for flu and pneumonia vaccination data, where county-level estimates were higher. No adjustments were made in this data snapshot to standardize the estimates across samples.

While the sample size is among the largest of all social surveys and weighted to accurately reflect the population of adult residents at the national, state, and county levels, there are still limitations to using this data. Most notably, all BRFSS responses are self-reported, so respondents are likely to under-report certain unhealthy behaviors and/or refuse to answer certain questions. Additionally, several questions ask for specific measurements, such as height and weight, which respondents may estimate incorrectly.

HIV Testing by State, 2016

New York ranks #1 in the nation for residents who have ever been tested for HIV.

New York ranks top in the nation for HIV testing, with rates consistently about 10 to 12 percentage points above the national median in recent years. Testing rates in New York State have hovered between 40% and 50% since 2001. County-level data were not available for this variable.

BRFSS Question: Have you ever been tested for HIV? Do not count tests you may have had as part of a blood donation. Include testing fluid from your mouth. Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
Note: County-level data were not available for this variable.

HIV Testing in N.Y. and U.S., 2001-2016

Rates of HIV testing in New York State have been consistently higher than the national median.

New York ranks top in the nation for HIV testing, with rates consistently about 10 to 12 percentage points above the national median in recent years. Testing rates in New York State have hovered between 40% and 50% since 2001. County-level data were not available for this variable.

*Median value
BRFSS Question: Have you ever been tested for HIV? Do not count tests you may have had as part of a blood donation. Include testing fluid from your mouth. Percentages above based on individuals responding “Yes.”
State- and National-Level Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001-2016.
Note: County-level data were not available for this variable.

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)  is a nationally representative survey of health-related behaviors and risk factors that is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The surveys are telephone based (both landline and cellular) conducted by state health departments, using standardized questionnaires. Non-institutionalized adults (18+) are eligible for the survey.

State-level aggregations of the survey data for this snapshot were extracted from publicly available BRFSS files on the CDC website. Some questions are routinely added and removed, while certain questions remain consistent from year to year. We focused our data snapshot on the questions that were consistently available over time.

National trends use the BRFSS median state value (for all U.S. states and D.C., excluding territories). Because of the complex survey sampling design of BRFSS, national-level proportions are not easily extracted from BRFSS data files. Medians values are also used by the CDC and the New York State Department of Health as a benchmark to compare the State to the rest of the nation on each indicator variable.

County-level aggregations used for this data snapshot were available from various sources. The CDC Diabetes County Data Indicator provides county-level estimates for diabetes-related health indicators (obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes diagnoses). Additionally, some states conduct expanded BRFSS (eBRFSS) surveys in certain years to generate a larger sample size of state residents, allowing for more detailed analysis beyond the state level. New York State has eBRFSS data available for 2002–2003, 2008–2009, and 2013–2014, as well as 2016 for certain measures. The eBRFSS data are available by county or for groups of counties, depending on the year and sample size. The differing sample used for eBRFSS may lead to some data inconsistencies between county-level and state-level data. This is most notable in the New York data for flu and pneumonia vaccination data, where county-level estimates were higher. No adjustments were made in this data snapshot to standardize the estimates across samples.

While the sample size is among the largest of all social surveys and weighted to accurately reflect the population of adult residents at the national, state, and county levels, there are still limitations to using these data. Most notably, all BRFSS responses are self-reported, so respondents are likely to under-report certain unhealthy behaviors and/or refuse to answer certain questions. Additionally, several questions ask for specific measurements, such as height and weight, which respondents may estimate incorrectly.