Under-Registration of Births in Latin America: Diagnosis of Problem and Mapping for Solutions

Suzanne Duryea, Inter-American Development Bank
Analia Olgiati, Inter-American Development Bank
Leslie F. Stone, Inter-American Development Bank

Approximately 14% of births are unregistered in Latin America according to UN estimates. Lack of documentation impedes the ability to fully participate in society including access to school, social services, voting, and banking. Using DHS data we examine the magnitude and associated characteristics of birth under-registration in Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Additionally, we create a disaggregated “mapping” of under-registration in Brazil by matching the 1996 DHS and 2000 census. This innovative technique takes survey data rich in demographic and health information but not representative for small areas and combines it with census data rich in geographic detail. By restricting the explanatory variables to those that are found in both datasets, data from DHS are used to estimate a model of birth under-registration. Using the parameter estimates from this model, the expected level of birth under-registration for small areas is imputed using census data and the same explanatory variables.

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Presented in Session 134: Problems of International Demographic Data