Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System (MAVDRS) Data

This Population Health Information Tool (PHIT) dataset is a comprehensive dataset for violent deaths in Massachusetts.

About the Data

The Massachusetts Violent Death Reporting System (MAVDRS) collects and links data on all violent deaths within the Commonwealth. It includes detailed information on homicides, suicides, legal intervention deaths, unintentional firearm deaths and deaths of undetermined intent. MAVDRS is an incident-based system and links victims and suspects associated with a given incident in one record. These data can be used to better understand the circumstances and toxicology of homicide and suicide victims by geography.

Data are for deaths occurring in Massachusetts; Massachusetts residents who died out-of-state are excluded from this analysis.

About MAVDRS Data

The system combines information from death certificates, medical examiner records, toxicology reports, police reports and crime laboratory reports. Individually, these sources explain violence only in a narrow context; together, they provide comprehensive answers to the questions that surround violent deaths: who, what, when, where, and, in many cases, why. No other system offers this benefit.

This standardized database is part of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) developed and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through Grant #U17/CE002606. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Circumstances are factors related to the victim and/or incident and can include information such as mental health status, substance use, and relationship problems. Circumstances provide information on possible contributing factors that may lead to a violent death. A person can have multiple circumstances reported in the data. It is also important to remember that some circumstances are more likely to be known and documented than others, and if a circumstance is not identified, that does not necessarily mean it was not present in the decedent’s life.

Data can be used to identify classes of substances for which victims tested positive. A victim can test positive for more than one substance class.

Data are analyzed by ICD-10 code.

Counts may differ from other data presented on homicides and suicides for Massachusetts.

To protect individual privacy, counts less than six have been suppressed with complementary suppression applied. 

Continue Exploring PHIT Data

Additional Resources



Population Health Information Tool Information


(617) 624-5075


250 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02108

As a publicly available tool, we highly encourage the use of data included in PHIT. Below is an example of how you can cite this webpage to reference any information you find helpful.

[Insert Title of Webpage Here] (n.d.). Population Health Information Tool, Massachusetts Department of Public Health. [Insert URL]

Help Us Improve with your feedback