Family formation, families and households

The United Nations Statistics Division is the primary agency responsible, at an international level, for collecting official statistics on family formation - marriage and divorce as well as families and households from vital statistics system and population and housing censuses. These data are collected from the national statistical offices of over 200 countries and areas on an annual basis through the Demographic Yearbook data collection system. The Regional Commissions also collect official statistics on marriage and divorce from Member States and share these data with the United Nations Statistics Division thereby minimizing the response burden to countries.

The United Nations Statistics Division calculates selected indicators and rates such as the crude marriage and divorce rates or singulate mean age at marriage and disseminates these indicators along with official country data on marriage, divorce, annulment, etc. through the Demographic Yearbook.

In accordance with its mandate, the United Nations Statistics Division provides official statistics on marriage, divorce and population by marital status to other international agencies and organizations. Data on marriage and divorce are also made available to Member States, for international comparisons, as well as to scholars and academia, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the public-at-large.