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Cross-National Statistics on the Causes of Death, 1966-1974 (ICPSR 7624)

Principal Investigator(s): United Nations


These data are a collection of demographic statistics for the populations of 125 countries or areas throughout the world, prepared by the Statistical Office of the United Nations. The units of analysis are both country and data year. The primary source of data is a set of questionnaires sent monthly and annually to national statistical services and other appropriate government offices. Data include statistics on approximately 50 types of causes of death for the years 1966 through 1974 for males, females, and total populations.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


United Nations. Cross-National Statistics on the Causes of Death, 1966-1974. ICPSR07624-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1979. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07624.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07624.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    causes of death, demographic characteristics, nations, population, population characteristics, post-World War II period, vital statistics, world population

Geographic Coverage:    Africa, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Asia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda Islands, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Chile, Christmas Island, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Equatorial Guinea, Europe, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Germany, Gibralter, Global, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norfolk Island, North America, Northern Ireland, Norway, Pacific Ocean, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Romania, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Scotland, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands of the United States, Wales, Wallis and Futuna, Western Samoa, Yemen, Yugoslavia

Time Period:   

  • 1966--1974

Universe:    Causes of death in 125 countries or areas throughout the world between the years 1966 and 1974.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The causes of death are classified according to the 6th, 7th, and 8th versions of an abbreviated list of the World Health Organization's INTERNATIONAL STATISTICAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES, INJURIES, AND CAUSES OF DEATH. Therefore, data for causes of death are not necessarily comparable across countries or data years. Users should refer to Variable 5 in the Variable List for full discussion of this problem. Users interested in comparing deaths for countries or years that use different versions of the Abbreviated list should consult two publications: A. Joan Klebba, and Alice B. Dolman. COMPARABILITY OF MORTALITY STATISTICS FOR THE SEVENTH AND EIGHTH REVISIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES, UNITED STATES. Rockville, MD: United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Public Health Service. Health Services and Mental Health Administration. National Center for Health Statistics, 1975, and World Health Organization. MANUAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL STATISTICAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES, INJURIES, AND CAUSES OF DEATH. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1967.

The user should note that countries have data covering a variety of time spans (the maximum span being 1965-1973), and the data have not been padded to supply missing data codes for those years for which a country does not have data. Thus, Egypt has data for years 1965 through 1972, while Kenya has data for only 1970. (See Appendix D in the codebook to determine the years for which a country has data.)

It is important that any user of these data consult the United Nations' DEMOGRAPHIC YEARBOOK, 1976, for further explanation of the data's limitations. Certain countries have modified reporting procedures which are presented in both the footnotes and the technical notes accompanying the tables in the Yearbook. There is no way to identify these problems using only the machine-readable data.

In order to eliminate unnecessary repetition of identifying information, data were merged so that each record now contains all the data for a country for one particular year. In this process, breakdowns of deaths by ethnic group and/or urban/rural classification were omitted since only a few countries provided such information. Each record now contains the data for the number of deaths from each cause of death for male, female, and total.

While the data appear to be in a rectangular matrix, such is not the case. This occurs because different versions of the abbreviated list are referenced in different data years. The lack of a rectangular data matrix does little to restrict the manageability of the dataset. See codebook for examples.

While the data have been reformatted and documented by ICPSR staff, there has been no attempt to verify the accuracy and consistency of the data received from the U.N. Statistical Office.


Data Source:

(1) mailback questionnaires, and (2) United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. DEMOGRAPHIC YEARBOOK 1976, 28th ISSUE. New York: United Nations, 1977 (Table 20)


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-03-18

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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