National Survey of Veterans - VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP)
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VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP)


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National Survey of Veterans


Data Sharing Statement 

What's available

Research data: unidentifiable data aggregated from individual level surveys

Available Documentation 

Dates Data are Available 

2010 NSV data: Currently available

Access Criteria

Email for details about access 

Study Characteristics 


To collect information that VA may use in planning and allocating resources for programs and services for Veterans. Data collected through the NSV enables VA to:

  • Follow changing trends in the Veteran population
  • Compare characteristics of Veterans who use VA benefits and services with those of Veterans who do not
  • Study VA’s role in the delivery of all benefits and services that Veterans receive
  • Update information about Veterans to help the VA develop its policies

Era of Service



All Veterans plus spouses, surviving spouses, and some active duty

Study Design 

Cross-sectional survey

Time Period 

Six editions of surveys were sent out starting in the 1970's until 2010.

2010 NSV: October 2009 - March 2010




For 2010 NSV: 10,972 total completed surveys (8,710 by Veterans)

Response Rate

For 2010 NSV:

  • 32% for households
  • 67% for Veterans (effective coverage rate 38%)
  • 22% overall 

Recruitment Method    

Veterans and active-duty participants were contacted through the mail using address-based information and list-based information, respectively, and asked to participate in a web-based survey.

Two sampling approaches were used for the NSV:

  1. Address-based sample group: Participants were sent a pre-notification letter, a short screening survey, then a select subsample of participants was invited to complete the full extended survey via the web. This method was used for Veterans, Veteran spouses, and Surviving spouses.
  2. List-based (pre-screened) sample group: Participants were personally invited through the mail to complete the full extended survey via the web. This method was used for Active Duty Service members, Active Duty spouses, and demobilized National Guard and Reserve members.



Data Collected

  • Health status
  • Health care
  • Demographics
  • Other information related to benefits and utilization
  • 2010 NSV: Deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and combat exposure

Data Collection Methods

All contacted respondents were given the option to complete a paper or web-based self-adminstered survey.

Funding Sources 

National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics (NCVAS) funded through VA


Selected Publications 

Aponte, M., Giambo, P., Helmick, J., Hintze, W., Sigman, R., Winglee, M., Dean, D., Rajapaksa, S., Ragan, M., Shumway, C., and Manglitz, C. National Survey of Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, Demobilized National Guard and Reserve Members, Family Members, and Surviving Spouses: Final Report. 2010. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Edwards, R. (2015) Overseas Deployment, Combat Exposure, and Well-Being in the 2010 National Survey of Veterans1, Journal of Human Capital 9(1): 64-93. DOI: 10.1086/680403

More Information

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