Birth, death registration rates at all-time high in ’18
Birth and death registration rates in India were at an all-time high in 2018 with nearly nine in every ten births and deaths being registered, according to the latest civil registration system report published this week.
More than 23.2 million births were registered in India in 2018 against an estimated 26 million live births which took place in the country – a registration rate of 89.3%. This is 4.4 percentage points more than the level of registration in the previous year.
The birth registration rate increased between 2017 and 2018 after falling for three consecutive years. It was just 57.7% in 2003, increased every year reaching 88.8% in 2014 before showing a declining trend.
Nearly seven million deaths were also registered in 2018 against more than eight million deaths estimated to have occurred in the country that year, a death registration rate of 86%. This is 6.4 percentage points more than the previous year. It also marks the eighth consecutive year for which the death registration rate in India has been increasing.
It is compulsory to report births and deaths to the Registrar of Births and Deaths in India. Registration of birth is a right of every child and the first step towards establishing the child’s legal identity. Even as the birth registration rate of 89.3% looks promising, it also means that births of more than 10% or nearly 2.8 million children were not registered in 2018.
Between 2017 and 2018, the birth registration rate increased in nine states while it decreased in 17 other states and union territories. Four states saw the highest percentage point growth in birth registrations between 2017 and 2018 – 18.6 percentage points in Uttar Pradesh, 12.2 in Uttarakhand, 8.3 in West Bengal and 6.6 in Bihar. At the same time, birth registration rate dropped by more than six percentage points in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in this period.
The birth registration rate was 100% in 2018 in 13 states. Ten of these states had 100% registration rate in 2017 as well while the remaining three have also reached the 100% mark at least once in past few years.
A bigger number of states have fared better in terms of improvement in death registration rates between 2017 and 2018. The rate increased in 16 states and dropped in only six others. It remained unchanged at 100% in 14 other states. In 2018, a total of 16 states recorded 100% registration of deaths. Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh marked the best improvement in terms of death registration rates as well, increasing it by 23.8 and 22.5 percentage points between 2017 and 2018 respectively.
On the other hand, Telangana, Nagaland and Bihar saw the highest percentage point drop in death registration rates, 15, 11.4 and 8.1 percentage points respectively.