Accessing Vital Statistics Data
Birth and death data that are deemed identifiable require permission from the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
We encourage you to check out the data already publicly available on our Vital Statistics Data page, as the Annual Summary, EpiQuery, and the Micro SAS Datasets may have information relevant to the type of data you are looking for.
Complete the online application form to request access for data not available on these public online platforms.
Application Process for Vital Statistics Data
- Complete the Application for Vital Statistics Data form online.
- Optional if matching required: Complete Data Matching or Linkage
- Variable selection tables for matching:
- [need secure form] Births
- [need secure form] Deaths
- [need secure form] Spontaneous Termination of Pregnancy (STOP)
- Send all supporting documents to email@example.com
Prior to beginning your application process, you may need some of the following supporting documents to complete the Data Use Application form:
- If the data will be used for research/evaluation or clinical trials adjudication, you must submit an IRB approval letter.
- If applicable, you will need to provide the name of and hyperlink (or PDF) describing the law, rule, reporting requirement, regulation or policy that authorizes the project.
- If requesting NYC residents Birth, Death, and STOP aggregated data, make sure to have ready a desired aggregated data format, as you will be asked to provide a table shell along with your application.
- If requesting PRAMS-VS linked data, ensure you have PRAMS approval from the Department’s Bureau of Maternal Infant and Reproductive Health. Contact PRAMS@health.nyc.gov for permission.
- If requesting SPARCS-VS linked data, make sure you have SPARCS approval from the New York State Department of Health Data Governance Committee. To apply visit the SPARCS website.
- If requesting redacted death certificates for clinical trial adjudication, ensure you have a National Death Index approval number.
Data Use Agreement
Most external data requests require a Data Use Agreement. Upon reviewing your application, we will assess your request and, if applicable, we will contact you for next steps.
Application Review by Office of Vital Statistics (OVS)
The OVS will review the application to:
- Assure it is completed
- Assure the intended data use meets legally permitted use by the NYC health code - that includes most health-related research projects and clinical quality improvement initiatives
- Assure Historical File Layouts or list of data elements are included with justifications for all Protected Health Information requested
- Assure that data elements requested are the minimal required for you to conduct your analyses
- Review with a statistical team to ensure feasibility and/or others means for completing request
- Determine what additional approvals or study documentations are required - and if any, obtain them
With all documents and approvals, OVS will disseminate the Data Use Agreement to the appropriate parties for signature.
The Health Department may contact you for additional information. Some requests may require a fee to process, including searches for death certificates.
Allow four to eight weeks to process your application.
- If you have any questions about how to apply or access the data, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help in your application process. Allow two to three business days for a response.