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Compressed Mortality File

 

 

Data Release

The current version of the Compressed Mortality File has data for 1999-2011. The file is available on CD ROM and on CDC WONDER. See Data Availability.

 

Database Description

The Compressed Mortality File (CMF) is comprised of a county-level national mortality file and a corresponding county–level national population file. The mortality file of the CMF contains a select subset of the variables contained in the detailed annual mortality files. Currently, the CMF spans the years 1968- 2011 and is divided into four parts: 1968-78, 1979-88, 1989-98, and 1999-2011. The first two parts are public use files and are available on a CD-ROM (CMF 1968-88 Series 20 No. 2A).  The other two parts can be made available on CD-ROMs to researchers under Part II Use Agreements (CMF 1989-98 Series 20 No. 2E and CMF 1999-2011 Series 20 No. 2Q). The CMF is also available on CDC WONDER as an online interactive query data base (see Interactive Data Bases and Tables). The CMF is a relatively compact file as it contains only a select set of variables.

 

Mortality Data File Description

Mortality data on the CMF are based on the NCHS annual detailed mortality files that include a record for every death of a U.S. resident recorded in the United States (except 1972, for which year the data are based on a 50 percent sample of deaths and weighted by a factor of 2). The annual detailed mortality files contain an extensive set of variables derived from the death certificates. For the CMF, the source data records were condensed by retaining only a select set of variables: (1) State and county of residence, (2) year of death (rather than the full date of death), (3) race (1968-98: recoded to white, black, other; 1999-2011: recoded to white, black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander), (4) sex, (5) for 1999-2011: Hispanic origin (not Hispanic or Latino, Hispanic or Latino) (6) age group at death (specific age recoded to 16 age groups), (7) underlying cause of death (4-digit ICD code), and (8) 69 ICD-8, 72 ICD-9, 113 ICD-10 cause-of-death recode (depending on the data year). The number of records was reduced by aggregating records with identical values for these seven variables and adding a count variable to the aggregate record indicating the number of identical records.

 

Population File Description

The population estimates on the CMF are based on Bureau of the Census estimates of total U.S., State, and county resident populations. The 1968 and 1969 State and county population estimates were calculated by NCHS using linear extrapolation.  The 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000. and 2011 population estimates are April 1 modified census counts. The estimates for 1971-79, 1981-89, 1991-99, and 2001-09 are intercensal estimates of July 1 resident populations. The estimates for 2011 are postcensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Note that the estimates for 1991-2011 are based on bridged-race categories. The population estimates on the CMF are by geographic unit (total United States, State, and county), year, race (1968-1998: white, black, other; 1999-2011: white, black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander), sex, Hispanic origin (1999-2011: not Hispanic or Latino, Hispanic or Latino), and age group (13 age groups). To permit the calculation of infant mortality rates, NCHS live-birth data are included on the file.

 

List of Data File Variables at a Glance

 

Variable Mortality file Population file

FIPS state code

X X

FIPS county code

X X

County name

--- X

Age group

Under 1 day

1-6 days

7-27 days

28-364 days

1-4 years

5-9 years

10-14 years

15-19 years

20-24 years

25-34 years

35-44 years

45-54 years

55-64 years

65-74 years

75-84 years

85+ years

Under 1 year and live births

1-4 years

5-9 years

10-14 years

15-19 years

20-24 years

25-34 years

35-44 years

45-54 years

55-64 years

65-74 years

75-84 years

85+ years

Race-sex

1968-1998:

  • White male
  • White female
  • Black male
  • Black female
  • Other male
  • Other female

1999-2011:

  • White male
  • White female
  • Black male
  • Black female
  • American Indian or Alaska Native male
  • American Indian or Alaska Native female
  • Asian or Pacific Islander male
  • Asian or Pacific Islander female

1968-1998:

  • White male
  • White female
  • Black male
  • Black female
  • Other male
  • Other female

1999-2011:

  • White male
  • White female
  • Black male
  • Black female
  • American Indian or Alaska Native male
  • American Indian or Alaska Native female
  • Asian or Pacific Islander male
  • Asian or Pacific Islander female

Hispanic origin

1968-1998: 

---

1999-2011:

  • Not Hispanic or Latino
  • Hispanic or Latino

1968-1998:

---

1999-2011:

  • Not Hispanic or Latino
  • Hispanic or Latino

Year of death

1968-2011

1968-2011

ICD code for underlying cause-of-death

1968-78: ICD-8

1979-98: ICD-9

1999-2011: ICD-10

---

Cause-of-death recode

1968-78: 69 causes

1979-98: 72 causes

1999-2011: 113  causes

---

X This variable is available on the file.

--- This variable is not available on the file.

 

Data File Technical Characteristics

 

  Mortality files
Files Record length Number of records
1968-78 23   8,774,864
1979-88 23   8,776,385
1989-98 23   9,691,181
1999-2011 24 14,829,580

 

  Population files
Files Record length Number of records
1968-78 140 206,712
1979-88 148 189,966
1989-98 148 191,418
1999-2011 149 996,072

 

Geographic Coverage

The CMF includes records for all counties in the 50 States and the District of Columbia by county of residence. Changes in county geography (addition and deletion of counties, and boundary changes) and associated changes in the FIPS codes occur from time to time. Some county boundary changes result in substantial increases or decreases in the population of the affected county and hence impact death counts, population estimates, and death rates for that county. Changes to counties were implemented in the vital records system (and hence on the CMF) in 1989, 1994, and 2003. See Appendix E of the file documentation for details.

Data Availability

The Compressed Mortality File (CMF) is updated annually when the final annual mortality data becomes available.  Release dates vary from year to year.

Over the years, confidentiality standards have changed for the public release of geographic detail on vital statistics data files. See NCHS Data Release Policy for details.  As a result of these changes, the CMF with data for 1968-88 is a public-use file; the CMF with data for 1989 and later is a restricted-use file.

CMF 1968-1988 – This public-use compressed data file is available:

  1. In query page format on CDC Wonder (see Interactive Data Bases and Tables).
  2. The CMF 1968-1988 Series 20 No. 2A can be downloaded from this website; or obtained on CD-ROM by sending a request to popest@cdc.gov.

Downloadable data files:

 

CMF 1989-98 and CMF 1999-2011 – The CMF with data for 1989 onwards is a restricted-use file.  Data for 1989 onwards are available:

  1. In query page format on CDC WONDER with some data suppression in effect for subnational data (death counts and rates are suppressed if the number of deaths is less than 10). See Interactive Data Bases and Tables.
  2. Researchers may apply for the CMF 1989-98 Series 20 No. 2E and CMF 1999-2011 Series 20 No. 2P by following the process outlined below, Data for approved projects will be provided on CD at no cost. Our current agreement with the states on the re-release of restricted data requires a review of all such data requests by the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) which represents state vital registrars. The review by NAPHSIS is conducted prior to the NCHS review and includes both federal and non-federal requests for restricted data files.

 

    Application process for CMF 1989-98 and CMF 1999-2011
    1. The researcher submits a completed project review form to the NAPHSIS review team. Some states have laws, regulations or policies that prohibit release of certain data items. In the course of the review the NAPHSIS review team will determine whether the request contravenes any of these state limitations. The researcher will be notified by NAPHSIS of their decision on the data request. NCHS will also be apprised of the NAPHSIS review decision, at which time NCHS will conduct its usual review.
    2. If the proposal is approved, NCHS will send the researcher (and his/her contractors if Federal) a Data Use Agreement. All data users associated with the research must agree to the conditions of usage, including the following:
      1. Researcher and associates will use a data file only for the purpose stated in the proposed scope of work;
      2. The researcher will return the compressed files to NCHS within one year unless renewal is requested and approved.
      3. The data files cannot be shared with any other staff not listed in the data use agreement.
    3. If the project proposal is denied, alternative access may be available through the NCHS Research Data Center (RDC) which has specific procedures to follow for controlled access to data files. Use of the RDC entails costs to the data requestor. See the RDC website for specific procedures.

     

    Documentation

 

External Cause-of-Injury Data

Users of the CMF on CDC WONDER can quickly and easily obtain injury deaths and rates according to the external cause-of-injury matrix. Mechanism and intent are separate variables in this new feature of the CMF on CDC WONDER allowing users to tabulate by one or the other, or both. In addition, this new feature allows for comparisons to non-injury causes of death. For additional information about the matrix approach to categorizing injury deaths, see ICD Injury Matrices.

 

Urban-Rural Classification for Counties

Users of the CMF on CDC WONDER can obtain death rates and counts (and maps and charts) for counties grouped according to a six-level urban-rural classification scheme. The most urban category in the scheme consists of central counties in metropolitan areas of 1 million or more and the most rural category consists of non-metropolitan counties with no urban clusters of 10,000 or more population. For additional information about the urban-rural classification, please see NCHS Urban-Rural Classification Scheme for Counties.

 

Maps and Charts

Users of the CMF on CDC WONDER can quickly and easily obtain maps and charts to graphically display death counts or rates for requested cross tabulations. Maps are available for either the United States (showing state or county death counts and rates) or for individual states (showing county data). Bar charts, line charts, and pie charts can be requested for 2-waycross tabulations.

 

Interactive Databases and Tables

 

Contact

Deborah D. Ingram, Ph.D.
Office of Analysis and Epidemiology
National Center for Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3311 Toledo Rd., Room 6211
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782
(301) 458-4733
E-mail: popest@cdc.gov

 

 

 
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