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CRVS stakeholders, structures and coordination

CRVS and the population register

The population register depends on sharing data, both aggregated and individual records, across interoperable databases. The civil register has records of vital events such as births, deaths, marriage, and divorce. The identity management system is based on the attribution of a unique number to every individual and the ability to verify the identification of each individual using biometric methods such as fingerprints, iris scans etc. A population register uses unique identity numbers to link a civil register with data from different administrative registers, such as social security, taxes, and schools. Thus, a population register is continuously updated with data on births, deaths, marriages, divorces, change of address, name changes, citizenship, and migration, among other things, and allows the government to maintain up-to-date, reliable information about its population to perform specific administrative tasks, such as taxation, elections, immigration, and production of statistics. 

The population register has many benefits by allowing cost-effective, efficient data exchange between databases belonging to diverse institutions based on a unique ID number. Given that the population register continually links a broad range of data on its resident population, it can produce dynamic and up-to-date vital statistics. It can also produce statistics on the size of the population, such as population size according to age, sex, and region. For example, education and employment information are not usually recorded through the CR system, but through the linkages that a population register has with other registers, these data can be accessed and enable more-sophisticated analysis and research. Moreover, through a well-functioning population register, individuals are also able to access services more easily and efficiently while protecting personal security, because the population register focuses on linking with other registers with limited information about one person in each register.

Some examples of various agencies that provide information to the population register


Aguilar R, A.M. et al and World Bank Group (2015). Estonia: A successfully integrated population-registration and identity management system – Delivering public services effectively, p. 13. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.

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