About CRVS Systems

A civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system is one that connects relevant data from the civil registry and the health information system for the purpose of producing vital statistics.

Did you know?

  • Worldwide, more than 1.1 billion people are unable to prove their legal identity.
  • The births of nearly one-quarter of children under the age of 5 worldwide have never been recorded.
  • 56.4 million people die globally each year. Only half of all deaths in 2015 were registered in national death registration systems with information on the cause of death.

Why do civil registration and vital statistics matter?

When countries maintain effective civil registration and vital statistics systems, everyone benefits. Universal registration of births, deaths (and their causes), marriages, and divorces, combined with issuing civil status certificates, ensures that individuals can prove their own identities to access basic public services – health, education, and social protection – and exercise their rights, including the right to vote or to claim inheritance.

When countries can generate and analyze real-time statistics, they can properly plan for and deliver priority development programs. Disaggregated by sex and other relevant characteristics, statistical data drawn from civil registers is especially important to meet the needs of vulnerable populations and monitor progress toward achieving health, gender equality, and other Sustainable Development Goals.

Did you know?

  • The data required to monitor 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 67 indicators depends on strong CRVS systems.
  • One of the Sustainable Development Goal targets – specifically 16.9 – is to provide legal identity for all by 2030, including birth registration.
  • In almost all low-income countries, and some middle-income ones, CRVS systems do not produce timely data for monitoring Sustainable Development Goal indicators.

CRVS Systems in the Context of the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health 2016-2030 set ambitious development targets for the future.

The SDG agenda recognizes that innovative and CRVS systems, integrated with health and national ID systems, are powerful drivers for more inclusive economies and a broad range of future development benefits, producing critical measurement data for many population-based indicators and targets. For example, Goal 16 refers specifically to providing legal identity for all, including birth registration. Across Goal 3 for health, vital statistics are needed for monitoring key targets for mortality, including reducing maternal, neonatal and child deaths.

Learn more about CRVS systems from experts working in this field by watching our Expert Talks Video Series.