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National Violent Death Reporting System


The goal of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is to provide communities with a clearer understanding of violent deaths so that they can be prevented. The system's objectives are to link records on violent deaths that occurred in the same incident to help identify risk factors for multiple homicides or homicide-suicides; to provide timely preliminary information on violent deaths through faster data retrieval; to describe in detail the circumstances that may have contributed to a violent death; and to better characterize perpetrators, including their relationships to victim(s). NVDRS collects and consolidates data on violent deaths from a variety of sources including death certificates, coroner/medical examiner reports, police reports, and crime laboratories.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Data Years Available: 
Mode of Collection: 
Selected Content: 
Detailed information on victims and offenders, including demographics; substance abuse; relationship of victim to offender; time, place, and circumstances of the event; and weapon type.
Population Covered: 

NVDRS is a state-based surveillance system that links data from law enforcement, coroners/medical examiners, vital statistics, and crime laboratories in each participating state. Deaths are included in the system if the underlying cause of death is classified to homicide, suicide, legal intervention (excluding executions), and undetermined intent. Data are also collected for unintentional firearm injury deaths, although these are not defined as violent deaths. The data are sent to CDC and stored in an incident-based relational database. Data are updated annually and can be accessed through the CDC Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) NVDRS.

Response Rates and Sample Size: 

In 2006, 17 states participated in NVDRS. The goal is to expand the system to all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Interpretation Issues: