Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

What is BRFSS?

The Washington State Department of Health helps Washington residents stay healthy. In order to gather the information needed to do that, the Department partners with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

The BRFSS is a yearly survey that measures changes in the health of people in our state. It is the longest continuously running phone survey in the world. This survey is an important source of health-related data. It is the only survey that collects information on certain health factors like tobacco use and insurance coverage.

ICF International, a health research company, will contact selected households on behalf of Washington State Department of Health. You may be contacted by phone or by mail. Caller ID will indicate that the call is from ICF.

Why take part in the survey?

Survey participation is completely voluntary and confidential. If you take part, you perform a valuable public service for your family, community, and state. Your participation helps make the survey results represent all Washington adults.

Washington State residents are randomly selected from a pool of both listed and unlisted phone numbers across the state. Each household in the state has a chance of being chosen. Your answers are combined with answers from other people. The information is used to guide public health programs, measure the extent of health changes, and evaluate public health policies and programs across the state.

How does it work?

The survey asks you questions about your health, risk factors (like whether you smoke), and conditions like asthma or arthritis. You will not be asked for personal information that may identify you. We do not know or ask your name.

You do not have to answer any questions you don't want to answer. You can resume, reschedule, or end the survey at any time. If we call you at an inconvenient time or you are unable to complete the interview, you can schedule another time to complete it.

How long does it take?

The survey takes about 25 minutes. It may take shorter or longer depending on the number of questions asked and how long you take to answer.

Thank you!

We greatly appreciate your willingness to take part in this important public health survey. If you have questions, please contact Rachelle Martin at 866-871-5405 or email Mark Serafin, or

Order BRFSS Data Files

BRFSS data files 2000 to 2020 are available for download. Working with these data files requires use of spreadsheet, database management, or statistical software that are not provided. BRFSS data files are free of charge and are ordered online through the BRFSS Order Form.

More information about BRFSS sampling methods can be found on the Data Collection page.

Join GovDelivery

Join the BRFSS GovDelivery for notifications and updates on BRFSS data file availability.