BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Vital Statistics



Vital Statistics is the department of government registries responsible for the registration of important events such as birth, death, marriage, stillbirth and domestic partnership which occur in the country. Family events are key elements of genealogy and family history research and information from these statistics inform research, policies and other governmental decisions. Our lives as individuals are composed of events that occurred at different times such as birth, marriage and death. Vital Statistics Agencies are responsible for administering and enforcing The Vital Statistics Act, The Marriage Act, The Change of Name Act and processing disinterment under The Public Health Act. These Agencies register vital events and provide documents as proof of those events. The accessibility of the records held by these agencies are governed by legislations protecting privacy and these records are often held in perpetuity.

Historically, important events such as, baptisms, marriages and burials have been recorded in Church Records and Indexes. Subsequently, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, governments of various countries introduced the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths. The aim of vital statistics is to ensure the accuracy of information, trace the records relating those events, preserve the memory of the events and, if possible, obtain copies of these records. According to World Health Organization (WHO), a well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system has the mandate to register all births and deaths, issue birth and death certificates, and subsequently compile and disseminate vital statistics, including cause of death information. It may also record marriages and divorces. Examples of vital statistics include:

  • Birth
  • Death
  • Marriage
  • Domestic Partnership
  • Seperation and Divorce
  • Genealogy
  • Name Change
  • Sex Change

Sources of vital statistics include:

  • Hospitals
  • Adoption facilities and Orphanages
  • Parish Registers
  • Church Records and Indexes
  • Civil Registrations
  • Databases
  • Cemeteries and Wills
  • Virtual Exhibitions

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