NCHS's Marriage and Divorce Data 1968-1995
The data for 1968-1988 consist of single year marriage and divorce data files. The data for the 1989-1995 Marriage and Divorce Data Set consist of two files, the marriage file (1,357,710 observations) and the divorce file (893,770 observations). The data are based on information from marriage and divorce certificates and include all records for States with small numbers of events and a sample of records for States with larger numbers of events.
NCHS stopped producing the Marriage and Divorce files after 1995 due to lack of funds.
Marriage microdata includes variables such as date of marriage, state residency, education, previous marital status, number of marriages, and ages of bride and groom. Divorce microdata include variables such as number or children under 18, custody, month and year of marriage, marriage duration, number of marriages, age, race, and state residency of husband and wife.
The published material should also include a disclaimer that credits any analyses, interpretations, or conclusions reached to the author (recipient of the data file) and not to NCHS, which is responsible only for the initial data.
Files ending in ".zip" are compressed with pkzip; file ending in ".Z" are UNIX-compressed Both can be decompressed using winzip. And both can be read by SAS without decompression as shown in the sample sas file. The UNIX command pkunzip and uncompress will also uncompress these files. To download files in Internet Explorer, right click on them and select "Save Target As...". If the pdf documents appear to be all blank pages, get the latest Acrobat Reader at www.abobe.com.
Documentation is available below.
File size: UNIX-compressed data is 16-17 Mb, and the Pkzipped data is 13-14 Mb. The compression ratio is over 90%.
NBER internal users can obtain the data from a UNIX shell at /homes/data/marrdivo ( or marriage or divorce ) or on an NBER PC via Network Neighborhood --> NBER --> home --> data --> marrdivo
1989-1995 Marriage and Divorce Documentation
E-mail Jean Roth, firstname.lastname@example.org , to report errors.