The importance of data quality
Completeness of registration, on the other hand, is the number of events registered as a fraction of the total number of events (births or deaths) expected to have occurred in that population.
The lower the coverage of vital events in a population, the less representative the data will be of births and deaths in the country – the lower the completeness, the less value the data will have for planning. Furthermore, since the areas with the best completeness of registration (such as the urban areas) are likely to be different to those with low completeness (such as the remote and/or rural areas), the population whose events were not counted is likely to experience different birth and death rates to the population whose events were registered.
All countries should carefully measure coverage and completeness levels each year, and have a plan to achieve full coverage and completeness if not already achieved. Although it is not realistic that 100 per cent of vital events will be registered, countries should aim to have at least 90 per cent of all births and deaths registered.
Summary: The importance of routinely measuring birth and death registration completeness
Highlights the importance of measuring registration completeness and the impact it has on fertility and mortality statistics.
Publication date: April 2018
Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Related resources: Summary: A new method for estimating the completeness of death registration