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Tabulation and generation of vital statistics for national policy

Robustness of data for publication

A very important consideration for selecting a topic should be whether the data are sufficiently robust for the intended usage. Only topics that can be covered with confidentiality and meaningful quality should be included – for example, for cause of death information, confidentiality (Deaths cause of death statistics) issues and small numbers per cell should determine the level of disaggregation. Numbers should not be so small or specific that it would be possible to identify individuals based on other characteristics. 

This does not mean that data have to be perfect before being disseminated. Even imperfect data can be useful as long as the known bias is reported with the data – for example, vital event data that only partially cover the national territory or that are only 60% complete still have utility.

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