National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)

Maintained/created by: NCHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Geographic unit of data: U.S. national, U.S. state, U.S. county

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The National Vital Statistics System provides access to public use data files, publishes reports and offers users interactive tools. National Vital Statistics System is housed under the National Center for Health Statistics portion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a joint effort between various governmental agencies to gather and manage data related to vital events in the United States. Vital events include: birth, death, marriage, divorce, and fetal deaths. The National Vital Statistics System is composed of two main areas: Vital Statistics Online and VitalStats.

Data Notes

The following public use data files are available for download from Vital Statistics Online: birth; period linked birth- infant death; birth cohort linked birth-infant death; mortality multiple cause; fetal death. From VitalStats, users can download reports and data tables on births and perinatal mortality. VitalStats will soon offer death data as well. Users with log-in capabilities can create and customize their own tables.

Users can view VitalStats birth data by topic and/or geography. Topics include: gestation and birth weight; method of delivery; characteristics of mother; risk factors; prenatal care; trends in birth rates and fertility rates. Population tables are also available. The VitalStats Perinatal Mortality tables include linked birth- infant death tables and fetal and perinatal mortality tables. Infant mortality tables are available by: age at death; sex; plurality; birth weight; gestation; age of mother; live-birth order; marital status; mother’s place of birth; mother’s state of residence. In VitalStats, much of the data can by viewed by age, race/ethnicity, sex/ gender, and it is available at the national, state and county levels. In addition to the state reporting agencies, data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and Social Security Administration. Data are collected and released annually. The most recent data is from 2009.