National linked files of live births and infant deaths were first produced for the 1983 birth cohort. Birth cohort linked file data are available for 1983 to 1991, and both period linked files and birth cohort linked files are available starting with 1995. National linked files do not exist for 1992 to 1994.
Mode of Collection
Record linkage of live birth and infant death data files.
The linked Birth/Infant Death data set links information from the birth certificate to information from the death certificate for each infant death in the United States. The purpose of the linkage is to provide a data set that adds the many additional variables from the birth certificate to the death certificate record to enable more detailed analyses of infant mortality patterns. The linked file is used for calculating infant mortality rates by race and ethnicity, which are more accurately measured from birth certificate data than from data on the death certificate.
To be included in the U.S. Linked Birth/Infant Death data set, both the birth and death must have occurred in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, or Guam. Data for Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam are shown in selected state tables, but are not included in the U.S. totals. Linked Birth/Infant Death data are not available for American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands.