NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NCHS' Vital Statistics Natality Birth Data -- 1968-2013

Natality Data from the National Vital Statistics System of the National Center for Health Statistics provide demographic and health data for births occuring during the calendar year. The microdata are based on information abstracted from birth certificates filed in vital statistics offices of each State and District of Columbia.

Other available birth data are Birth Cohort Linked Birth/Infant Death Data , Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data from the Perinatal Mortality Data, and Matched Multiple Birth Data.

By using this data you signify your agreement with NCHS' data use rules. Works referring to the datasets or codebooks should contain a citation to NCHS. Published material derived from this data should include a citation such as this at the bottom of the table: "Source: National Center for Health Statistics (span of years used)"

Prior to 1972, data are based on a 50-percent sample of birth certificates from all States. Beginning in 1972, data are based on a 100-percent sample of birth certificates from some states and on a 50-percent sample from the remaining States. The number of States from which 100 percent of the records are used has increased from 6 in 1972 to all States and the District of Columbia in 1985. Birth data from the U.S. Territories Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are available on a separate file beginning in 1994. In 1998, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas were added to the U.S. Territories files.

Demographic data include variables such as date of birth, age and educational attainment of parents, marital status, live-birth order, race, sex, and geographic area. Health data include items such as birth weight, gestation, prenatal care, attendant at birth, and Apgar score. Geographic data includes state, county, city (available for cities of 250,000+ (up to 1980) and 100,000+ (1980-)), SMSA (1980-), and metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties.

Population files (such as natpop91.dat.Z) contain the population counts for U.S. women 15-44, those traditionally thought to be "at risk" for giving birth. The files have 2448 lines. Each line represents the count of one combination of 51 state x 6 age x 4 race x 2 Hispanic origin of mother categories. These files are available for 1991 on. Population files are not available for the U.S. Territories.

SEER provides helpful U.S. Population data for 1969 on.

Both ".Z" and ".zip" files can be uncompressed with winzip. In addition, ".Z" files can be uncompressed using the UNIX uncompress command and ".zip" files can be unzipped with pkunzip.

To check your ability to uncompress these files, download the small files compress.Z or compress.zip. These files give an example of how to read in .Z and .zip ASCII files into SAS for UNIX without decompressing the 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.

Variable layouts are basically the same for periods 1972-1977, 1979-1981, 1982-1983, 1984-1985, and 1992-1994 though a few codes change across years.

Thanks to Michael Greenstone and Kenneth Chay for the 1975-1985 data.

Raw file size: The compressed 1968-1985 files are between 50 and 130 Mb, and the compressed 1991-1994, and 1998-2002 files are 120-155 Mb. The 2003 file is over 200Mb. The compression ratio for these files is over 90%.

Because of the large size of the complete collection, we would prefer that you not download large fractions over the web. NBER internal users can obtain the data from a UNIX shell at /homes/data/natality or on an NBER PC via Network Neighborhood --> NBER --> home --> data --> natality

Updates and changes.




United States -- Data & Documentation 1968-2013
Birth Data
SAS Code
Stata Code
SPSS Code
Documentation Desc
ASCII Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
.do
.dct
2013
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2012
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2011
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2010
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
ad.pdf
desc
2009
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
ad.pdf
desc
2008
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2007
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2006
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2005
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
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do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
The 2005 public use data from 2005-on does not include geographic detail due to restrictions imposed by the states. This means that the 2005-on data does not include any geographic variables such as state, county, msa, etc. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/VitalStats.htm has select tables, and http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/dvs_data_release.htm   has information on requesting restricted versions of the data which include geographic identifiers, etc.
2004
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
The 2003 datafile is nearly four times larger than the 2002 file. This is because while the 2002 file is 352 characters wide, the 2003 file is 1297 characters wide. The uncompressed 2002 file is about 1.3 Gb and the 2003 file is almost 5 Gb.  Old compression software with a 2 Gb limit won't work.
2003
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2002
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2001
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
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pdf
desc
2000
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
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do
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pdf
desc
1999
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1998
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
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pdf
desc
1997
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
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do
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pdf
desc
1996
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
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do
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pdf
desc
1995
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
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pdf
desc
1994
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1993
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
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sps
pdf
desc
1992
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
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sps
pdf
desc
1991
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1990
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1989
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1988
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1987
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1986
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1985
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1984
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1983
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1982
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1981
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
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pdf
desc
1980
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1979
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1978
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
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do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1977
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1976
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1975
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1974
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1973
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1972
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1971
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1970
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1969
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1968
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
* The 2003 datafile is nearly four times larger than files from previous years.   This is because while the 2002 file is 352 characters wide, the 2003 file is 1297 characters wide. The uncompressed 2002 file is about 1.3 Gb and the 2003 file is almost 5 Gb! If your compression software has a 2 Gb limit, it won't work.   Try other software such as WinRAR.

U.S. Territories Data, 1994-2013
Birth Data
SAS Code
Stata Code
SPSS Code
Documentation Desc
ASCII Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
.do
.dct
2013
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2012
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2011
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2010
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2009
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2008
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2007
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2006
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2005
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2004
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2003
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2002
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2001
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
2000
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1999
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1998
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1997
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1996
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1995
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
1994
Source
Stata
SAS
CSV
sas
do
dct
sps
pdf
desc
Report on Final Natality Statistics FR1994 FR1995 FR1996 FR1997 FR1998 FR1999 FR2000 FR2001 FR2002
Standard Birth Certificates
sbc68-77   sbc78-88   sbc89-02   sbc03

To report errors, or if you have comments or suggestions, an interest in SAS library files for the later data, e-mail jroth@nber.org

Last Update: December 1, 2014 Created by Jean Roth September 15, 2000

 
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