Data

Share of births registered

What you should know about this indicator

Completeness of birth registration is the percentage of children under age 5 whose births were registered at the time of the survey. The numerator of completeness of birth registration includes children whose birth certificate was seen by the interviewer or whose mother or caretaker says the birth has been registered.

Limitations and exceptions: Data on the prevalence of birth registration is collected mainly through censuses, civil registration systems (CRVS) and household surveys. Civil registration systems that are functioning effectively compile vital statistics that are used to compare the estimated total number of births in a country with the absolute number of registered births during a given period. However, the systematic recording of births in many countries remains a serious challenge. In the absence of reliable administrative data, household surveys have become a key source of data to monitor levels and trends in birth registration. In most low- and middle-income countries, such surveys represent the sole source of this information.

Substantial differences can exist between CRVS coverage and birth registration levels as captured by household surveys. The differences are primarily because data from CRVS typically refer to the percentage of all births that have been registered (often within a specific timeframe) whereas household surveys often represent the percentage of children under age five whose births are registered. The latter (the level of registration among children under 5) is specified in the SDG indicator (16.9).

Statistical concept and methodology: Birth registration refers to the permanent and official recording of a child's existence by some administrative levels of the State that is normally coordinated by a particular branch of the government.

Birth registration estimates are primarily drawn from nationally representative household surveys such as the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Other data sources include other national surveys, censuses and vital statistics from civil registration systems, and estimated coverage of birth registration within national civil registration systems from the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).

Source
Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
2000–2022
Unit
%

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

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Citations

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To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Share of births registered”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from UNICEF. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/births-registered [online resource]
How to cite this data

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Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Share of births registered” [dataset]. UNICEF, “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 19, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/births-registered