Most industrialized countries have required certification of deaths for years, and death certificates are a primary source of mortality data in many countries. In such countries, death certificates are the official source of information about deceased persons, the date and location of their death, and the causes of their death. In the United States, mortality data are collected in local jurisdictions and reported using a Standard Certificate of Death and model procedures developed cooperatively by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and local jurisdictions, the latter being the 50 states, two cities (New York City and Washington, D.C.), and five territories (Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). The NCHS compiles and releases aggregated ...

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