Download Datasets

The DHS Program is authorized to distribute, at no cost, unrestricted survey data files for legitimate academic research. Registration is required for access to data.

Guide to Using Datasets
File Types and Names

Distribution Files

Survey datasets are distributed as compressed .ZIP files. A distribution .ZIP file contains multiple working files which generally include a data file, various data definition files, and other documentation. This page includes instructions on how to work with distribution .ZIP files.

On this page

Distribution File Naming Convention
Country Codes
Data File Type Codes
Data Version Codes
File Format Codes
Data Structure Codes

Working Files

The types of "working files" that are contained in each distributed .ZIP file include a data file, various data definitions, and other documentation. The exact type of files that are included will vary depending on the associated data type and file format.

Working files must be extracted from the distributed .ZIP file.  The files can be extracted using PKUNZIP, Winzip, or other data compression software. You can download the Winzip Evaluation Version for free.

Types of Working Files
Examples of Working File Types

Distribution File Naming Convention

An individual .ZIP file is distributed for each dataset type (e.g. household, women, men, children, couples, etc.) and file format (e.g. hierarchical, flat, SPSS, SAS, Stata.) Each .ZIP distribution file is uniquely named with a standard naming convention.

Dataset files are named according to the following convention: [CC][DD][VV][FF][DS].ZIP

Code Description:
[CC] Country Code
[DD] Dataset Type (e.g. HR-Household, PR-Household Member, IR-Women, MR-Men, BR-Births, KR-Children under 5, and CR-couples)
[VV] Dataset Version (First Character - DHS Phase) (Second Character - Release version)
[FF] File Format (eg. FL-Flat, SV-SPSS, DT-Stata, SD-SAS)
[DS] Data Structure for SPA (SR:Recode | SP: SPA Raw)

To give an example of how distribution files for a survey are organized, the following table shows the available files, along with the names that they are given for the Kenya 2003 DHS survey.

Kenya 2003 DHS Survey

ASCII File Types Software-Specific Data File Types
Unit of Analysis Hierarchical Flat SAS SPSS Stata

The following reference tables contain the descriptions for the four different types of filename codes (country, data type, data version, and file format).

Country Codes - [CC]DDVVFFDS.ZIP

CC: Country Code Description

Code Country Name Code Country Name
AF Afghanistan LB Liberia
AL Albania MD Madagascar
AO Angola MW Malawi
AM Armenia MV Maldives
AZ Azerbaijan ML Mali
BD Bangladesh MR Mauritania
BJ Benin MX Mexico
BO Bolivia MB Moldova
BT Botswana MA Morocco
BR Brazil MZ Mozambique
BF Burkina Faso NM Namibia
BU Burundi NP Nepal
KH Cambodia NC Nicaragua
CM Cameroon NI Niger
CV Cape Verde NG Nigeria
CF Central African Republic OS Nigeria (Ondo State)
TD Chad PK Pakistan
CO Colombia PY Paraguay
KM Comoros PE Peru
CG Congo PH Philippines
CD Congo Democratic Republic RW Rwanda
CI Cote d'Ivoire WS Samoa
DR Dominican Republic ST Sao Tome and Principe
EC Ecuador SN Senegal
EG Egypt SL Sierra Leone
ES El Salvador ZA South Africa
EK Equatorial Guinea LK Sri Lanka
ER Eritrea SD Sudan
ET Ethiopia SZ Swaziland
GA Gabon TJ Tajikistan
GM Gambia TZ Tanzania
GH Ghana TH Thailand
GU Guatemala TL Timor-Leste
GN Guinea TG Togo
GY Guyana TT Trinidad and Tobago
HT Haiti TN Tunisia
HN Honduras TR Turkey
IA India TM Turkmenistan
ID Indonesia UG Uganda
JO Jordan UA Ukraine
KK Kazakhstan UZ Uzbekistan
KE Kenya VN Vietnam
KY Kyrgyz Republic YE Yemen
LA Lao People's Democratic Republic ZM Zambia
LS Lesotho ZW Zimbabwe

Data File Types - CC[DD]VVFFDS.ZIP

DD: Data File Types

Data Type Description
AH Adult Health*
AN Antenatal Care
AR HIV Test Results Recode
BR Births Recode
CH Children's Raw*
CL Unit Check List
CN Consultations
CO Community
CP Couples' Raw*
CR Couples' Recode
CS Country Specific
EX Experimental*
FC Facility
FP Family Planning
FW Fieldworker Questionnaire
GE Geographic Data
HT HIV Test Results Raw
HW Height and Weight Scores - WHO Child Growth Standards
KR Children's Recode
HH Household Raw
HR Household Recode
ID In-depth*
IH Individual/Household Raw
IN Safe Injection
IP Inpatient Unit
IQ Individual Raw
IR Individual Recode
LB Laboratory
LD Labor Delivery
ML Male Raw
MR Male Recode
MS Health Information System
OB Other Biomarkers
OD Other Data*
OI Outpatient/inpatient
OP Outpatient Unit
PG Parent/Guardian Raw
PH Pharmacy
PI Personal Interview
PQ Household Member Raw
PR Household Member Recode
PV Provider
SC Sick Child*
SI Sexually Transmitted Infections
SL Staff/Provider Listing
SM Safe Motherhood
Service Availability Raw
Service Provision Assessment (SPA) - Raw
SR Service Provision Assessment (SPA) - Recode
TB TB data
VA Verbal Autopsy*
VR Village Recode
WI Wealth Index
WS Women's Status*
XP Expenditure*
XR Child Under 5 Recode

Data Versions - CCDD[VV]FFDS.ZIP

VV: Version Number

Version No. Description
Phase 1
0(1 - 9) First survey conducted under DHS-I

00 - Release version 0
01 - Release version 1
02 - Release version 2
03 - Release version 3
Phase 2
2(1 - 9) First survey conducted under DHS-II

20 - Release version 0
21 - Release version 1
22 - Release version 2
23 - Release version 3
Phase 3
3(0 - 9) First survey conducted under DHS-III

30 - Release Version 0
31 - Release version 1
32 - Release version 2
33 - Release version 3
3(A - H) Second survey conducted under DHS-III

3H - Release Version 0
3A - Release version 1
3B - Release version 2
3C - Release version 3
3(I - Q) Third survey conducted under DHS-III

3Q - Release Version 0
3I - Release version 1
3J - Release version 2
3K - Release version 3
Phase 4
4(0 - 9) First survey conducted under DHS-IV

40 - Release Version 0
41 - Release version 1
42 - Release version 2
43 - Release version 3
4(A - H) Second survey conducted under DHS-IV

4H - Release Version 0
4A - Release version 1
4B - Release version 2
4C - Release version 3
4(I - Q) Third survey conducted under DHS-IV

4Q - Release Version 0
4I - Release version 1
4J - Release version 2
4K - Release version 3
Phase 5
5(0 - 9) First survey conducted under DHS-V

50 - Release Version 0
51 - Release version 1
52 - Release version 2
53 - Release version 3
5(A - H) Second survey conducted under DHS-V

5H - Release Version 0
5A - Release version 1
5B - Release version 2
5C - Release version 3
5(I - Q) Third survey conducted under DHS-V

5Q - Release Version 0
5I - Release version 1
5J - Release version 2
5K - Release version 3
5(R - Z) Fourth survey conducted under DHS-V

5Z - Release version 0
5R - Release version 1
5S - Release version 2
5T - Release version 3
Phase 6
6(0 - 9) First survey conducted under DHS-VI

60 - Release Version 0
61 - Release version 1
62 - Release version 2
63 - Release version 3
6(A - H) Second survey conducted under DHS-VI

6H - Release Version 0
6A - Release version 1
6B - Release version 2
6C - Release version 3
6(I - Q) Third survey conducted under DHS-VI

6Q - Release Version 0
6I - Release version 1
6J - Release version 2
6K - Release version 3
6(R - Z) Fourth survey conducted under DHS-VI

6Z - Release version 0
6R - Release version 1
6S - Release version 2
6T - Release version 3
Phase 7
7(0 - 9) First survey conducted under DHS-VII

70 - Release Version 0
71 - Release version 1
72 - Release version 2
73 - Release version 3
7(A - H) Second survey conducted under DHS-VII

7H - Release Version 0
7A - Release version 1
7B - Release version 2
7C - Release version 3
7(I - Q) Third survey conducted under DHS-VII

7Q - Release Version 0
7I - Release version 1
7J - Release version 2
7K - Release version 3
7(R - Z) Fourth survey conducted under DHS-VII

7Z - Release version 0
7R - Release version 1
7S - Release version 2
7T - Release version 3

File Formats - CCDDVV[FF]DS.ZIP

FF: Format of the Data

Format Code
__ Hierarchical (no format indicator)
FL Flat Data File
SV SPSS Data File
DT Stata Data File
SD SAS Data File

Data Structures - CCDDVVFF[DS].ZIP

DS: Data Structure for SPA Surveys 

Structure Code
SP SPA Raw Data
SR SPA Recode Data

Types of Working Files

The following reference table lists the types of working files that are included in a distributed dataset .ZIP file, depending of the data format.

XXX: File Extension

File Extension Description Flat ASCII File Hierarchical File SPSS Data File SAS Data File Stata Data File Notes
.DAT ASCII data file YES YES

.DCF Dictionary file for use with CSPro YES YES

not in all files
.DCT Stata dictionary file (syntax) YES

.DO Stata syntax file YES

.DOC Microsoft word document with country information YES YES YES YES YES
.DTA STATA system file

.FRQ Unweighted frequency distribution (open with a text editor) YES YES YES YES YES
.FRW Weighted frequency distribution (open with a text editor) YES YES YES YES YES
.MAP File layout or codebook (open with a text editor) YES YES YES YES YES
.SAS SAS data description file (syntax) YES

.SAV SPSS system file


.SAS7BDAT    SAS system file


.SPS SPSS data description file (syntax) YES

Please note that the .DOC file is only present in the Individual Recode(IR) and Men's Recode(MR) files.

Examples of Working File Types

Using the Kenya 2003 MEASURE DHS+ as an example, the following table shows the Individual Recode files distributed for each file format.

Kenya 2003 MEASURE DHS+
Hierarchical Data (KEIR41) Flat ASCII Data (KEIR41FL) SPSS Data File (KEIR41SV) SAS Data File (KEIR41SD) Stata Data File (KEIR41DT)
n/a n/a SPSS data file (.SAV) SAS data file (.SAS7BDAT) Stata data file (.DTA)
ASCII data file (.DAT) ASCII data file (.DAT) n/a n/a n/a
Dictionary file for use with CSPro (.DCF) Dictionary file for use with CSPro (.DCF) n/a n/a n/a
n/a Stata dictionary file (.DCT) n/a n/a n/a
n/a Stata syntax file (.DO) n/a n/a n/a
n/a SAS data description file (syntax) (.SAS) n/a n/a n/a
n/a SPSS data description file (syntax) (.SPS) n/a n/a n/a
File layout or codebook (.MAP)*
Unweighted frequency distribution (.FRQ)*
Weighted frequency distribution (.FRW)*
Microsoft word document with country information (.DOC)

* .MAP, .FRQ and .FRW files may be opened using an ASCII text editor, such as Notepad.