Have state-level inequalities in completeness of death registration in India narrowed during two decades of civil registration system strengthening?

Jayanta Kumar Basu, University of Melbourne
Tim Adair, University of Melbourne

Background: In India, the number of registered deaths increased substantially in recent years, improving the potential of the civil registration and vital statistics system to be the primary source of mortality data and to provide the benefits of the issuance of a death certificate. This study aims to identify whether the level and recent trends in state-level inequalities in death registration completeness in India, including by sex, have narrowed during this period of CRVS system strengthening. Methods: Completeness of death registration is calculated using the empirical completeness method. Levels and trends inequalities in completeness are measured in each state using two socio-economic indicators– the Socio-Demographic Index and Multi-dimensional Poverty Indicator. Results: Although large state-level inequalities by state remain, there was a narrowing of inequalities by SDI and to a lesser extent MPI during the period. Conclusions: Although narrowing of inequalities in completeness demonstrates that the benefits of higher levels of death registration have spread to relatively poorer states of India in recent years, the continued low completeness in some states and for females are concerning. The Indian CRVS system also needs to increase the number of registered deaths with age at death reported to improve their usability for mortality statistics.

Keywords: Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS), Inequality, Mortality

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P6.