Estimating the completeness of death registration

S. Preston, K. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Death registration statistics, even when incomplete, can provide valuable information about mortality. In particular, the age structure of deaths can be used to estimate the completeness of registration, provided that this completeness does not vary substantially with age. Two methods of estimating the completeness of death registration from the distribution of deaths by age are described. The first is derived from stable population theory and requires an estimate of the rate of natural increase of the population, as well as assuming stability. However, the technique can also be used to generate simultaneously estimates of the rate of natural increase and of death registration completeness. The second method which requires two census age distributions and intercensal deaths by age, estimates the relative enumeration completeness of the two censuses as well as the completeness of death registration and requires only that the population be closed. Results are sensitive to overstatement of age. The methods are illustrated by being applied to figures from Thailand for the period 1960-70 and are found to work satisfactorily.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-366
Number of pages18
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • History


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