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System of Vital Statistics


It is a detailed set of information on the vital statistics of the country, which includes the Vital Statistics survey conducted by the IBGE, the estimation of under-registration of births, and the data matching between the IBGE database and the Ministry of Health database (Live Birth Information System - SINASC and Mortality Information System - SIM), from the data sources of both Institutions. To this end, a more robust methodology was developed for the calculation of these under-registrations, based on the application of data pairing methods and the Capture-Recapture Technique to estimate total live births and death, which is the main objective of the partnership between the IBGE and the Ministry. The partnership also includes making available the identified microdata from the mentioned sources.

Gathering those data together allowed, at first, the matching of the live births and deaths indicated by each database. Such matching is not only an intermediate stage for the estimation of their respective under-registration data, but also a way of identifying the areas with cover deficiency in each of the considered databases. Therefore, policies to improve the enumeration of vital events, the enhancement of the information systems and the eradication of under-registration can be developed.

After the data matching phase, a second step is the application of the Capture-Recapture Technique for the estimation of the total live births and deaths occurred in a certain year. Once the totals are estimated, the respective under-registration figures are calculated. It is worth highlighting that the method allows the calculation of the birth and death certificates coverage of each one of the systems, according to groups or specific characteristics of the population, as long as these characteristics are represented by the variables used in the model. 

It is also worth highlighting that the System of Vital Statistics will be updated annually, but, because of the availability of information from the Minsitry of Health, the estimates of births and deaths under-registration as well as the data matching will present a one-year lag in relation to the year of refenrence of the Vital Statistics survey. 

Vital Statistics

Vital Statistics gathers information on live births, marriages, deaths and stillbirths reported by Civil Registry Offices of Individuals, as well as divorce reported by Family Courts, Civil Courts and Notary Offices. Its results are an important instrument to follow up the evolution of the Brazilian population, especially in intercensal periods, when vital statistics became fundamental for deeper demographic studies.

The current system of vital statistics resulted from the Decree no. 70,210, of February 28 of 1972, which transferred to the IBGE the responsibility over the collection of such information, which had been under the Statistical Service of Population, Moral Issues and Politics of the Ministry of Justice. Civil Registration Statistics have been published by the Institute since 1974, providing a vast array of information on vital events and marriages. Data on separations and divorces were incorporated into the survey from 1984 on. Resolution no. 175, of May 14 of 2013, of the National Council of Justice - CNJ, prohibited competent authorities to refuse to celebrate civil marriages or to convert stable unions into same-sex marriages. This Resolution enabled the IBGE to survey such records as of that date. The data on live births, deaths, still births and marriages of the State of São Paulo, it should be noted, are the result of an agreement signed with the Seade State Data Analysis System Foundation, which collects and ascertains this type of information.

The survey brings information on live births, by mothers' age at delivery, place of registration and month of registration; deaths, by year of occurance, age and marital status on the date of death, place of occurence, record and place of residence of the deceased, month of occurance and cause of death; stillbirths, by pregnancy length, mother's age at delivery, place of birth, registration and residence of the mother, month of registration, type of pregnancy; marriages, by month of occurrence and registration, age on the date of registration, place of registration, marital status prior to marriage; and divorces, by age of the spouses on the date of the divorce petition or deed of divorce, place of the divorce petition or deed of divorce, nature of the divorce proceedings, the marital property regime, child custody, sentencing, time elapsed between the date of marriage and the sentence or notarial act, and type of family of the couple.

The survey is annual. Its geographic coverage is national, with results reported for Brazil, Major Regions, Federation Units, Metropolitan Areas and Subdivisions, Capital Municipalities and Integrated Development Regions - RIDEs.

Birth Under-registration Estimates

Birth under-registration corresponds to the number of births not registered in the year of their occurance or in the first quarter of the next year. This indicator is important to indicate how far the country is from accomplishing its basic duty of recognizing its newborns as citizens, and, consequently, to provide information for policies assuring the increase of such registrations.

Recent analyzes made by the IBGE, based on the time series of birth certificates by the Vital Statistics survey, as well as information on notifications of births, obtained from the Ministry of Health's Live Birth Information System - Sinasc, pointed out gradual improvement in the coverage of the civil birth registration in Brazil since 2000. Based on these studies, the Institute will make available every year, concurrently with the dissemination of information from the Vital Statistics survey, the result of the matching between the two databases - IBGE's and the Ministry of Health's - thus, providing an estimate of the total births in the country, as well as estimates of under-registration and coverage of the respective information systems. These estimates will take into account births that have occurred and not been registered until the first quarter of the year following the year of the birth, which is the legal deadline for such registration. This indicator will be associated with the Vital Statistics coverage, without incorporating delayed birth registrations.

Data Matching

In order to assess the coverage of the System of Vital Statistics (IBGE's Vital Statistics, Live Birth Information System - Sinasc and Mortality Information System - SIM, from the Ministry of Health), it is necessary to measure how many of these events (births and deaths) were achieved by the respective systems. For this, the data from the Vital Statistics, SIM and Sinasc underwent a matching procedure. This pairing, besides being an intermediate step for the estimation of the respective under-registrations, identifies the areas with insufficient coverage of the events in each of the considered databases.