Vital Statistics

The National Vital Statistics System, one of the major data systems of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), produces the Nation's official vital statistics. This cooperative Federal/State system, based on vital records filed in State vital registration offices, provides data on births (including selected maternal and infant risk factors), deaths (including infant deaths and deaths from specific diseases), fetal deaths, marriages, and divorces. It produces annual data for the United States and for States, counties, and other local areas and monthly provisional data for the United States and each State. Related data are collected in the periodic National Survey of Family Growth (with data on family formation, growth and dissolution, infertility, contraception, risk factors, and family size), the National Mortality Followback Survey (with data on use of health services, living arrangements, health status, and risk factors, collected from next-of-kin of a sample of recent decedents), and the National Maternal and Infant Health Survey (with data on maternal and infant use of health services and maternal and infant risk factors from a sample of women with recent births, infant deaths, and fetal deaths). The latest annual birth rate, infant mortality, and life expectancy will be featured on the Social Statistics Briefing Room. The user is also referred to the latest provisional data on the NCHS home page. Many of these statistics have been published in the annual report Health, United States, a report on the health status of the Nation submitted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to the President and the Congress. For more detailed information on data collection, publications, and public-use data files, go to the NCHS home page.

NOTE: Persons wanting copies of birth and death certificates should contact their State registration office. State contacts are on the NCHS web site.


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