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United States Census of Mortality: 1850, 1860, and 1870 (ICPSR 2526)

Principal Investigator(s): Fogel, Robert W., University of Chicago. Center for Population Economics; Ferrie, Joseph, University of Chicago. Center for Population Economics; Costa, Dora L., University of Chicago. Center for Population Economics; Karlan, Dean S., University of Chicago. Center for Population Economics


This data collection is a portion of the historical data collected by the project, "Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death," which is collecting military, medical, and socioeconomic data on a sample of white males mustered into the Union Army during the Civil War. During 1850, 1860, and 1870, mortality information was gathered at the county level as an addendum to the population census. These data examine the impact of environmental factors on life outcomes and look at the influence of infectious disease rates on economic and health patterns at late ages. Part 1, Disease Data, looks at cause of death from 66 disease classifications. Part 2, General Disease Data, also examines cause of death but through 18 broad disease categories. Variables included in both parts are state, county, year of death, and frequency of death by disease.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

    This study 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).


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Disease Data - Download All Files (4.384 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   
DS2:  General Disease Data - Download All Files (9.11 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Fogel, Robert W., Joseph Ferrie, Dora L. Costa, and Dean S. Karlan. United States Census of Mortality: 1850, 1860, and 1870. ICPSR02526-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH PO1 AG10120)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF SBR 9114981)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    American Civil War, causes of death, disease, environmental impact, health problems, health status, males, military service, mortality rates, Union Army, White Americans

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Date of Collection:   

  • 1998

Universe:    All deaths in the year prior to the taking of the census in 1850, 1860, and 1870.

Data Type(s):    medical records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) These files represent a storage format sometimes referred to as a weighted analysis file. The data are organized with one record for each county/year/disease permutation (in the event that no one died in that county/year/disease, no record is created). For each such permutation, the frequency variable contains the number of individuals who died in the county/year of that disease. (2) Questions regarding the use of these data should be directed to Peter Viechnicki at the University of Chicago (


Sample:    Individuals who died in a household in which somebody survived were included.

Data Source:

mortality census records


Original ICPSR Release:   2000-05-01

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB2526.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 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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