Vital Statistics Data are available in various formats, including data files, tables, reports and certificates.
Vital Statistics Data Files are compiled from the information reported on birth, death, and fetal death certificates, including detailed demographic information related to the infant, mother, and father (for births and fetal deaths) or decedent (for deaths), as well as medical data related to the vital event. These data files are released in a variety of versions, with and without personal identifiers, in order to provide maximum protection to the confidentiality of the individuals named on the certificates. Unless there is a specific need for personal identifiers, non-confidential data files without personal identifiers should be utilized.
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 the 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 birth, fetal death, or death files for research purposes. Once the files are obtained, users must follow strict guidelines to protect the confidentiality of the data.
The data files are stored on CD-ROM and contain raw data in American Standard Code Information Interchange (ASCII) format. These files are not comma-delimited and no software is included on the CD-ROM. However, file documentation and record layouts are provided with the CD-ROMs. Users must utilize a statistical database package (such as SAS or SPSS) in order to analyze the files.
Individual data are presented in a variety of forms (e.g., counts, rates, ratios, percent distributions), for different geographic levels (nation, state, county, city health department, ZIP code), and time periods (e.g., annual, multi-year trends). The most currently prepared tables are available at the links below. Historical vital statistics tables are available in Vital Statistics of California reports.
Data Reports may be found via the Publications & Forms tab or in the Reports Section.
Birth, death, and fetal death certificates are available to individuals, family members, researchers, and government agencies.
Please direct questions about Vital Statistics data to:
California Department of Public Health
Public Health Policy and Research Branch
Health Information and Research
1616 Capitol Avenue-MS 5101
PO Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
For More Information
Program Page - provides more information Health Information and Research programs.
Statistics Page - provides additional data statistics.