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Mortality Detail Files, 1968-1991 (ICPSR 7632) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):


This data collection describes every death or fetal death registered per year in the United States from 1968-1991. Information includes the month and day of death for deaths prior to 1989 and the month of death for deaths in 1989 and after, the sex of the deceased, the age of the deceased at the time of death, the deceased's place of residence, place of death, and whether an autopsy was performed. Causes of death are coded using the eighth and ninth revisions of THE INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES.

Series: Mortality Detail Files Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

  • This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).


WARNING: Because this study has many datasets, the download all files option has been suppressed, and you will need to download one dataset at a time.

WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS6:  Mortality, 1968 - Download All Files (1,077,400 KB)
DS7:  Mortality, 1969 - Download All Files (1,057,361 KB)
DS8:  Mortality, 1970 - Download All Files (1,033,675 KB)
DS9:  Mortality, 1971 - Download All Files (1,037,121 KB)
DS10:  Mortality, 1972 - Download All Files (527,471 KB)
DS11:  Mortality, 1973 - Download All Files (1,056,487 KB)
DS12:  Mortality, 1974 - Download All Files (1,035,559 KB)
DS13:  Mortality, 1975 - Download All Files (1,013,295 KB)
DS14:  Mortality, 1976 - Download All Files (1,022,116 KB)
DS15:  Mortality, 1977 - Download All Files (1,076,363 KB)
DS16:  Mortality, 1978 - Download All Files (1,044,354 KB)
DS17:  Mortality, 1979 - Download All Files (1,095,196 KB)
DS18:  Mortality, 1980 - Download All Files (1,154,383 KB)
DS19:  Mortality, 1981 - Download All Files (1,540,614 KB)
DS20:  Mortality, 1982 - Download All Files (1,629,077 KB)
DS21:  Mortality, 1983 - Download All Files (1,661,788 KB)
DS22:  Mortality, 1984 - Download All Files (1,730,612 KB)
DS23:  Mortality, 1985 - Download All Files (1,910,626 KB)
DS24:  Mortality, 1986 - Download All Files (1,992,448 KB)
DS25:  Mortality, 1987 - Download All Files (2,015,088 KB)
DS26:  Mortality, 1988 - Download All Files (2,037,985 KB)
DS27:  Mortality, 1989 - Download All Files (2,177,416 KB)
DS28:  Mortality, 1990 - Download All Files (2,181,082 KB)
DS29:  Mortality, 1991 - Download All Files (2,217,921 KB)

Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Mortality Detail Files, 1968-1991. ICPSR07632-v4. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-08-10. doi:10.3886/ICPSR07632.v4

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   age, causes of death, death, death records, ethnicity, fatalities, gender, marital status, mortality rates, race

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1968--1991

Date of Collection:  

  • 1968--1991

Universe:   All deaths in the United States.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

There are no Parts 1-5 for this collection.

The Reason-for-Death codes for 1968-1978 are different from those in subsequent years. A revised United States Standard Certificate of Death was recommended for state use beginning on January 1, 1989. Among the changes were the addition of a new item on educational attainment and changes to improve the medical certification of cause of death. In addition, for the first time, the United States Standard Certificate of Death includes a question on the Hispanic origin of the decedent.

Starting with the 1989 vital event files, a new policy on the release of vital statistics unit record data files was implemented to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of the identities of individuals and institutions. As a result, the 1989 and later year files do not contain the actual day of the death or date of birth of the decedent.

The geographic detail is also restricted.

The previous title for this collection was MORTALITY DETAIL FILES, 1968-1978 [VOLUME I], 1979-1980 [VOLUME II], 1981-1982 [VOLUME III], 1983-1984 [VOLUME IV], 1985 [VOLUME V], 1986-1987 [VOLUME VI], 1988 [VOLUME VII], and 1989 [VOLUME VIII].


Data Source:

Death certificates filed in vital statistics offices of each state and the District of Columbia.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2010-08-10 The dataset order has been updated so that the datasets are listed in chronological order, and additional documentation has been made available.
  • 2007-03-09 Datasets 27, 28, 29 have been updated.
  • 2007-01-16 The setup files have been updated.

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