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National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)

In the United States, more than seven people per hour die a violent death. More than 18,800 people were victims of homicide and over 48,000 people died by suicide in 2018 alone.

To help find ways to prevent violent deaths, we need to know the facts. The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) links information about the “who, when, where, and how” from data on violent deaths and provides insights about “why” they occurred.

NVDRS is the only state-based surveillance (reporting) system that pools more than 600 unique data elements from multiple sources into a usable, anonymous database. NVDRS covers all types of violent deaths – including homicides and suicides – in all settings for all age groups.

NVDRS Overview
National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)

Our overview fact sheet describes how the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) helps CDC monitor and track deaths related to violence. It also provides information on the benefits and challenges of NVDRS, examples of program highlights, and next steps.
NVDRS Overview pdf icon[372 KB, 2 Pages, 508]
Also available in Spanish pdf icon[194 KB, 2 Pages, 508]

Linking Data to Save Lives

Frontline investigators, including law enforcement, coroners, and medical examiners, collect valuable information about violent deaths. However, these data are seldom combined in a systematic manner to provide a complete picture.

NVDRS collects facts from death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, law enforcement reports, and toxicology reports into one anonymous database. Data elements collected provide valuable context about violent deaths, such as relationship problems; mental health conditions and treatment; toxicology results; and life stressors, including recent money- or work-related problems or physical health problems.

Such data are far more comprehensive than what is available elsewhere. Decision-makers and program planners can use this information to develop and tailor violence prevention efforts.

Violence Surveillance Data

CDC continues to enhance the NVDRS system by promoting greater functionality and improved access to data that inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of violence prevention strategies, which can ultimately save lives. CDC’s Injury Center distributes information from NVDRS at the national level in both summary and topic-specific reports. Specific fact sheets for data providers, law enforcement, and medical examiners are available on our NVDRS Resources webpage.

Descriptive data can be accessed free of charge from the Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). The NVDRS Restricted Access Database (RAD) is also available to researchers who meet specific criteria.

Subtítulos disponibles en español (Subtitles available in Spanish)

Page last reviewed: December 31, 2020
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