Vital Records Data File Types:
Birth Data Files
The birth files include all state registered births, and births to California residents that occurred out-of-state. These files contain detailed demographic information related to the child, mother, and father, as well as medical data related to the birth. CPHS and VSAC approvals are required to obtain the confidential data fields. In addition, Public Use and Anti-Fraud data files are available.
Birth Cohort Data Files
The birth cohort files contain data for all live births and the infants who died in the first year of life (linked to the birth). Fetal death data is only included in years 2004-2011. CPHS and the VSAC approvals are required to obtain the confidential data fields.
Death Data Files
The death files are available with in-state California deaths only, a combination of in-state deaths and deaths of California residents that occurred in other states or jurisdictions, or out-of-state deaths only. CPHS and the VSAC approvals may be required to obtain the death files. In addition, Public Use and Anti-Fraud data files are available.
For information (including the years available, data format, data contents and limitations) on the four California Death Data sources available to be requested; the Death Statistical Master File (DSMF), the California Comprehensive Death File (CCDF), the California Comprehensive Master Death File (CCMDF), and the out-of-state File (OOS) please see the Death Data Sources Comparison Chart (PDF).
For further information about the DSMF, CCDF, CCMDF, the OOS death file, or the availability of other vital statistics data files, please contact the Health Information and Research Section at HIRS@cdph.ca.gov.
Fetal Death Data Files
The fetal death files contain data obtained from fetal death certificates registered in California each year. These files contain demographic information related to the fetus, mother, and father, as well as medical data related to the fetal death. The medical data includes the underlying cause of the fetal death. CPHS and VSAC approvals are required to obtain the confidential data fields. Fetal death files do not include induced abortion data.
Multiple Causes of Death Data Files (MCOD)
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) codes all causes of death according to the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 for Mortality (ICD-10) using the literal text from the death certificate.
NCHS produces a California customized MCOD file which is generally made available 12-18 months after the close of the calendar year. This file includes entity-axis, record-axis codes, group cause of death codes, infant group cause of death codes, positional information, and race/ethnicity codes.
Effective 2016, the entity-axis codes and record-axis codes data are available in the CCDF and CCMDF data files; sequence number 201-240.