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

Published: Mar 30, 2006

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

Version V1

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.

Fogel, Robert W., Ferrie, Joseph, Costa, Dora L., and Karlan, Dean S. United States Census of Mortality: 1850, 1860, and 1870. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH PO1 AG10120)

National Science Foundation (NSF SBR 9114981)

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


(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 (

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

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

mortality census records

medical records data



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.

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.


  • 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.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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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).