This study was conducted to profile home birth in the United States from 1989 to 1992 using two birth certificate data sources from the Natality Branch of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Analysis included published and unpublished descriptive tables about all U.S. home births from 1989 to 1992, and a subset of the 82,210 U.S. home births from 1989 to 1991 that were drawn from NCHS national birth certificate data tapes. Results indicated that less than one-third of reported home births were attended by nurse-midwives or physicians. Distinct regional patterns in the frequency of home births were observed, with higher concentrations in the southwestern and western states. When compared with the average childbearing woman in the United States, mothers who gave birth at home were more likely to be older, have fewer years of education, be married, and be white; they were also more likely to be of higher parity and to receive less prenatal care. Home birth mothers were less likely than average to smoke or drink alcohol prenatally, to have a prenatal medical risk condition or an obstetric complication, or to receive certain prenatal tests. The outcomes of newborns born at home compared favorably to the national average during the same period. Several findings varied considerably by race or ethnicity of the mother.