Using the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health sponsored by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, we calculated prevalence estimates of eczema nationally and for each state among a nationally representative sample of 102,353 children 17 years of age and under. Our objective was to determine the national prevalence of eczema/atopic dermatitis in the US pediatric population and to further examine geographic and demographic associations previously reported in other countries. Overall, 10.7% of children were reported to have a diagnosis of eczema in the past 12 months. Prevalence ranged from 8.7 to 18.1% between states and districts, with the highest prevalence reported in many of the East Coast states, as well as in Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. After adjusting for confounders, metropolitan living was found to be a significant factor in predicting a higher disease prevalence with an odds ratio of 1.67 (95% confidence interval of 1.19-2.35, P=0.008). Black race (odds ratio 1.70, P=0.005) and education level in the household greater than high school (odds ratio 1.61, P=0.004) were also significantly associated with a higher prevalence of eczema. The wide range of prevalence suggests that social or environmental factors may influence disease expression.