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What is CRVS and why does every country need it?

What is the vital statistics system?

The vital statistics system includes all the processes involved in collecting, compiling, analysing and disseminating information obtained from the vital events filed through the civil registration system. The goal of the vital statistics system is to have complete, accurate and timely data for all vital events that occur in a country.

The civil registration method is different from other methods of gathering data about the population because it is mandated by law to be complete (covering the whole population) continuous and permanent (maintained over time in a historical archive). Information collected within the framework of this system has legal authority. These characteristics imply that the vital statistics generated from civil registration have a number of advantages compared with other sources of vital statistics, such as the census or household surveys. In particular, they are:

  • Continually produced, as and when the events occur, thus maximising correctness
  • Available in a consistent and comparable manner over time and across geographies
  • Generated for the whole population of a country at national and lowest administrative levels.

For these reasons, although vital statistics on births and deaths can be produced from the periodic censuses and household surveys, the CRVS system is the preferred and best.

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The advantages of vital statistics from civil registration

Why are CRVS data important

Vital statistics are the information compiled about vital events registered in the civil registration system - but why are they important?

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