The Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) in Niakhar, a rural area of Senegal, is located 135 km east of Dakar. The HDSS was established in 1962 by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) of Senegal to face the shortcomings of the civil registration system and provide demographic indicators. Some 65 villages in the Niakhar area were followed annually by the HDSS from 1962-1969. The study zone was reduced to 8 villages from 1969-1983, and from then on the HDSS was extended to include 22 other villages, covering a total of 30 villages for a population estimated at 43 000 in January 2012. Thus, 8 villages in the Niakhar area have been under demographic surveillance for almost 50 years and 30 villages for 30 years. Vital events, migrations, marital changes, pregnancies, and immunizations are routinely recorded every 4 months. The HDSS data base also includes epidemiological, economic, and environmental information obtained from specific surveys. Data were collected through annual rounds from 1962 to 1987. The rounds became weekly from 1987-1997, followed by routine visits conducted every 3 months between 1997 and 2007 and every 4 months since then. The data collected in the HDSS are not open to access, but can be fairly shared under conditions of collaboration and endowment.