Coverage of Birth and Death Registration

Monitoring the status of civil registration and vital statistics for countries in the world is the first step to provide guidance and assistance to those that are in need.

The work of the United Nations Statistics Division to assist countries in improving their civil registration and vital statistics systems started in 1949, following the recommendations by the Statistical Commission at that time.

Progress has been made over the past 60 years in some countries. There are still deficiencies, however, in civil registration systems in many countries until this date. For example, only 60% of the 230 countries and areas register at least 90% of births occurred in the country. While for death registration, only 47% of the countries and areas have at least 90% coverage.

Source of information: Several sources are used to obtain the coverage of birth and death registration for more than 230 countries and areas. The primary source is the "Quality of vital statistics obtained from civil registration" page on the United Nations Demographic Yearbook Vital Statistics Questionnaire. Source of information also includes United Nations Statistics Division workshops that have been conducted in the past, when covearge information was obtained from country representative(s) either from the National Statistical Office or the Civil Registration Authority attending the workshop. When information is not available from these two sources, coverage information estimated by the International Institute for Vital Registration and Statistics (IIVRS), UNICEF (the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey), ICF Macro (Demographic and Health Survey) and/or the World Health Organisation is then used.

Download file on birth and death coverage

Last updated: August 2012