Vital Statistics Online Data Portal

This page is a portal to the online data dissemination activities of the Division of Vital Statistics, including both interactive online data access tools and downloadable public use data files.


Downloadable Data Files

Public use Birth, Period Linked Birth – Infant Death, Birth Cohort Linked Birth – Infant Death, Mortality Multiple Cause, and Fetal Death data files are available for independent research and analyses.

Birth Data Files

User’s Guide (.pdf files) U.S. Data (.zip files)* U.S. Territories Data (.zip files)

NOTE: Restricted use birth files for selected years in 1960s are available in the NCHS Research Data Center upon special request and approval. For details, see Vital Statistics Data Release Policy.

Matched Multiple Birth and Fetal Death Data File

User’s Guide (.pdf files) U.S. Data (.zip files)*

NOTE: The 2021 public use U.S. mortality file was updated in December 2023 to include data for “Activity Code” at tape location 144 and “Place of Injury for Causes W00-Y34, except Y06.- and Y07.-“ at tape location 145 and to correct “Record axis condition 5” from “I1500” to “I500” for one record. This file replaces the file posted in December 2022.

A corrected version of the 2009 public use U.S. mortality file was posted on April 5, 2012 to replace the file posted in December 2011. The correction changed the 130 cause recode value from ‘062’ to ‘056’ for 17 records.

Fetal Death Data Files

User’s Guide (.pdf files) U.S. Data (.zip files)* U.S. Territories Data (.zip files)

NOTE: Corrected 2018 fetal death files were posted on January 28, 2021. These files replace those posted in July 2020. Changes were made to two data fields: “Cigarette Recode” and “Cigarettes in 3rd Trimester”.  For the “Cigarette Recode” field, 22 records were changed to Yes (17 records had previously been incorrectly coded as No, and 5 records had been incorrectly coded as Unknown or Not Stated).  For the “Cigarettes in 3rd Trimester” field, 1,265 records were changed – 992 records to categories ranging between 1 and 98 daily cigarettes (17 records had previously incorrectly been coded as 0 and 975 records had been incorrectly coded as Unknown or Not Stated) and 273 records to 0 (all had previously incorrectly been coded as Unknown or Not Stated).

Notice of Error in the 2003 and 2004 Fetal Death Data Files and Reports [PDF – 131 KB]

The 2014 public use fetal death data file has been updated to include cause of fetal death. No change has been made to other data items. A new 2014 Fetal Death Public Use Record Layout including the cause of fetal death items can now be found at the end of the User Guide.


* Between 2002 and 2003 the uncompressed file size increased greatly.  This increase is a result of the phased implementation of the newly revised U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth and a consequent need for a much longer record length.  If you have difficulty unzipping these files, you may need to use different compression software such as the newest versions of WinZip or WinRAR.


Please be advised that the births files are massive flatfiles that cannot be opened using, for example, a text editor or spreadsheet application.  Using some type of statistical software, such as SAS, SPSS, and STATA, is your best choice to open and run the files. Since the birth files are flatfiles, you will need input code files. See the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) website for SAS/SPSS/STATA input code files for the birth files, which are available (free of charge).


Data Access Tools

A collection of vital statistics products including tables, data files, and reports that allow users to access and examine vital statistics and population data interactively.

  • WONDER (Allows users to query CDC data sources, including NCHS birth and death data)