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Available Death Variables

The table below lists variables found on the five different types of death data files; Death Address, Death Public Use, Death Statistical Master, Merged Death, and Multiple Cause of Death.  Not all variables listed are available for all years, particularly older years.  The coding of variables may also change over time.  For more information about specific variables, please contact the Office of Health Information and Research


Variable Death Address Death Public Use Death Statistical Master (5) Merged Death (5) Multiple Cause of Death
Age of Decedent    X  X  X  X
Autopsy Performed on Decedent    X  X  X  X
Autopsy Used     X  X    
Biopsy Performed on Decedent      X  X  
Birthplace of Decedent    X  X  X  X
Census Block Group   X        
Census Place Code      X    
Census Tract (1)  X    X    
Centroid Type  X        
City of Residence  X        X
Contributing Causes of Death      X    X
County Population Size          X
Date of Decedent's Birth    X  X  X  X
Date of Decedent's Death    X  X  X  X
Date of Injury      X  X  X
Day of the Week of Death          X
Days Between Injury and Death      X  X  
Death in Hospital    X  X    
Death Reported to Coroner      X  X  
Decedent's Social Security Number (2)      X  X  
Father's Surname      X    
Federal Implementation Processing Standards (FIPS) Geographic Codes          X
FIPS Geographic Codes - County  X        X
FIPS Geographic Codes - State  X        X
First Name of Decedent    X  X  X  
Highest Grade Completed    X  X    X
Hispanic Orgin of Decedent    X  X  X  X
Injured at Work    X  X  X  X 
Last Name of Decedent  X  X  X  X  
Local Registrar's Number      X  X  
Local Registration District      X    
Maiden Name (Birth Surname) of Decedent's Mother (2)      X    
Manner of Death      X    X
Marital Status of Decedent    X  X  X  X
MCD FIPS Code  X        
Middle Initial of Decedent    X    X  
Middle Name of Decedent      X    
MSA FIPS Code  X        
Number of Years in County  X        
Operation Performed Prior to Death    X  X  X  
Place of Injury    X  X  X  X
Place Where Death Occurred    X  X  X  X
Place/County of Death and Decedent's Status          X
Place/County of Decedent's Residence    X  X  X  X
Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas/ Metropolitan Statistical Areas Population Size          X
Race/Ethnicity of Decedent (3)    X  X  X  X
Resident Status          X
Sex of Decedent    X  X  X  X
Social Security Number of Decedent    X  X  X  
State File Number  X  X  X  X  X
Street Address of Decedent's Residence  X        
Type of Certifier of Death      X  X  
Type of Facility Where Decedent Died      X  X  
Underlying Cause of Death (4)      X  X  X
Underlying Cause of Death Group Code (4)    X  X  X  
Decedent's Years in Occupation      X    
Year of Decedent's Death  X        X
ZIP Code  X  X  X    
ZIP Code Four Digit Extension  X        


  1. On the Death Statistical Master File, Census Tract is not consistently collected.  Some Local Registration Districts code it, while others do not.
  2. The decedent's social security number and mother's maiden name are protected data elements.  Researchers must obtain CPHS and VSAC approvals in order to access these variables.
  3. Multiple race fields are available on the death files from 2000 onward.
  4. The ICD codes have undergone revision over time.  The data files are coded as follows: 1960 to 1968 used ICD-7, 1969 to 1978 used ICD-8, 1979 to 1998 used ICD-9, and 1999 to present uses ICD-10.
  5. The Death Statistical Master Files and the Merged Death Files are available with or without data for California residents who died while in other states.  Access to this data is governed by the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems' (NAPHSIS) Inter-Jurisdictional Exchange Agreement.
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Last modified on: 12/1/2008 2:58 PM