The United States has separate registration areas for birth, death, marriage, and divorce statistics. In general, registration areas correspond to states and include two separate registration areas for the District of Columbia (D.C.) and New York City. The term “reporting area” may be used interchangeably with the term “registration area.” All registration areas have adopted laws that require registration of births and deaths. More than 99% of births and deaths occurring in this country are believed to be registered.
The death registration area was established in 1900 with 10 states and D.C., and the birth registration area was established in 1915, also with 10 states and D.C. Beginning in 1933, all states were included in the birth and death registration areas. The specific states added year by year are shown in: Hetzel AM. History and organization of the Vital Statistics System. In: U.S. Vital Statistics System. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 1997. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/usvss.pdf. Currently, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands each constitute a separate registration area, although their data are not included in statistical tabulations of U.S. resident data. (Also see Sources and Definitions, National Vital Statistics System [NVSS]; Reporting area.)