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Birth and Fetal Death Data Files 

Data files are released in a manner that will not compromise the confidentiality of the parents, children, or decedents on the certificates.  Unless there is a specific need for personal identifiers, non-confidential data files without personal identifiers should be used.  Personal identifiers are those fields on the data files such as names and other fields that could identify an individual.  In addition, data obtained from the "confidential" portion of birth and fetal death certificates are protected by law from use for all but specific purposes.  Users of vital statistics files for research purposes must obtain approvals from the California Health and Human Services Agency's Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) and/or the California Department of Public Health Vital Statistics Advisory Committee (VSAC) in order to use data files with personal identifiers.  Once the files are obtained, users must follow strict guidelines to protect the confidentiality of the data. 

Description of Files

Birth and Fetal Death Data files are compiled from the information reported on birth and fetal death certificates, including detailed demographic information related to the child, mother, and father, as well as medical data related to vital event.  Below are brief descriptions of available birth data files.  Each file contains several different variables.  For a list of variables for each file, click here.

  • Birth Cohort Files

  • The Birth Cohort Files contain data for all live births that occurred in a calendar year, death information for those infants who were born in that year but subsequently died within 12 months of birth, and all fetal deaths that also occurred during that calendar year.  This file is especially valuable for studying infant deaths, as well as birth outcomes, because it permits examination of both birth and death information for those infants who died.  These files are available with or without personal identifiers.  CPHS and the VSAC approvals are required to obtain the confidential birth files with personal identifiers. 
  • Birth Statistical Master Files

  • The Birth Statistical Master Files are the largest and most comprehensive of the birth data files.  These files contain detailed demographic information related to the child, mother, and father, as well as medical data related to the birth.  These files are available with or without the personal identifiers.  CPHS and VSAC approvals are required to obtain the confidential birth files with personal identifiers.
  • Fetal Death Statistical Master Files

  • The Fetal Death Statistical Master Files contain data obtained from fetal death certificates registered in California each year.  These files contain demographic information related to the child, mother, and father, as well as medical data related to the fetal death.  The medical data includes the underlying cause of the fetal death.  These files are available with or without the personal identifiers.  CPHS and VSAC approvals are required to obtain the confidential birth files with personal identifiers. 

Purchasing Files

Prices for these data may vary depending on the product and the years requested.  The cost of the data files and available years are provided in the applications.  For applications please click here.

 

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Last modified on: 11/18/2010 5:41 PM