Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Civil registration of deaths

Only around a quarter of the global population lives in countries where more than 90% of births and deaths are registered – and these are mainly high-income countries.

Only 34 countries – representing 15% of the world population – produce high-quality cause-of-death data (i.e. data covering 90% or more of total deaths, coded using ICD-9 or ICD-10, with less than 10% deaths coded to ill-defined symptoms and signs).

A further 85 countries – representing 65% of the world population – produce lower quality cause -of-death data, while 75 countries lack such data altogether.

The number of Member States reporting causes of death to WHO tripled between 1950 and 2000 (from 36 to 106) but has increased by only 13 countries in the last decade.

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