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(sometimes referred to as vital rates) are the information maintained by a government, recording the birth and death of individuals within that government's jurisdiction. These data are used bypublic health programs to evaluate how effective their programs are. They are the cornerstone of public health systems today.
The origin of vital statistics begins as early as 1869 and death by social class was recorded in England beginning in 1921.
A useful by-product of birth and death registration are official certificates of those events. These certificates serve as prima facie evidence of that event.
Toronto scientist, professor Prabhat Jha argues that inexpensive recording of vital statistics in developing countries is the most effective means to improve global health and has outlined 5 options for expanding Cause of Death reporting.