The services described on this page are offered solely for the use of the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Pittsburgh. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.

The department of Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh has a contractual agreement with the National Center for Health Statistics to offer any faculty, staff member, or student a data volume that NCHS produces free of charge.

More than 500 public-use data tapes, representing most of NCHS data collection programs, are available for purchase and use. The majority of the data files released by NCHS contain the encoded numeric responses (microdata) obtained through its data collection instruments.

Public-use data are released in a number of formats, including magnetic data tape, CD-ROM, and diskette. Each magnetic data tape has a fixed content, fixed format, and comes with a complete documentation package. The data are in 9-track (reel tape) or 18-track (cartridge tape) code, either extended binary coded decimal interchange code (EBCDIC) alone, or in combination with binary code. Data are provided at a density of 6,250 bytes per inch (bpi) or 38,000 bpi for IBM-3480 cartridge tapes. The record lengths, block sizes, and number of records are provided in the detailed descriptions for each product. Users of these files must have mainframe access and be familiar with analytic software such as SAS, SPSS, or SUDAAN.

Public-use data on CD-ROM and diskette come with, except where noted, the Statistical Export and Tabulation System (SETS) retrieval software. Documentation for each study is included on the CD-ROM. Basic requirements needed to use the CD-ROMs are: