Worldwide, 65% of deaths go uncounted – here’s how to change that

Press/Media: Articles in 'The Conversation'


It has been described as the most critical development failure of the past 30 years, and shows no sign of improving: many countries' systems for registering major life events like births and deaths are incomplete or absent.

In 2007, the Lancet described the situation as follows: “most people in Africa and Asia, and in many other regions, are born and die without leaving a trace in any legal record or official statistic”. A follow-up series in 2015 identified a continued lack of political will to improve the situation. Registration of major life events is fundamental to human security and development, but 65% of deaths and 35% of births remain unrecorded across the world.

Period2 Sep 2015

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