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

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


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.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2015


  • international development
  • Africa
  • Human rights
  • Asia
  • civil registration
  • Death certificate
  • Birth certificate


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