“If your experiment needs a statistician, you need a better experiment.”― Ernest Rutherford
As a scientific discipline, Vital Statistics is a subfield of demography and the study & research of characteristics of the civilized population. The term “vital statistics'' is deployed to the individual determination of some vital events.
The birth rate is an example of vital statistics and an investigation of trends in birth rates is an example of an application in the domain of vital statistics. There are various examples of vital statistics such as death rates, or the number of marriages, human population, etc.
While reading this article, you will learn the meaning of vital statistics, types and uses of vital statistics, and a brief note over vital statistics system.
Statistics, an agglomeration of numerical data, or simply the mathematical science that deals with the assortment, examining, and interpretation of numerical data through the use of the statistical theory of probability, specifically the tools and techniques that drive inferences regarding the features of the population via deciphering a random sample.
Here, Probability is a mathematical tool that is deployed in order to discuss uncertain events and plays an essential role in statistics.
Statistics is an interdisciplinary field; research and analysis in statistics have diverse applications in all scientific fields and research. Two essential concepts in the field of statistics are uncertainty and variation.
For example, various conditions are there in science where the outcome is uncertain. And statisticians try to understand and control, whenever possible, the origin of variation under any situation. Some statistical measures include mean, regression analysis, skewness, kurtosis, variance, and analysis of variance.
Additionally, statistics and its types are implemented in several disciplines like psychology, business, social science, humanities, government and manufacturing. Statistical data is collected through a simple procedure or various methods.
There are two types of statistical methods used in statistical data analysis:
- Descriptive Statistics: that are used to evaluate data from a sample practising the mean or standard deviation, and
- Inferential Statistics: that is implemented when the statistical data is reviewed as a part of a specific population.
According to N.B. Ryder, vital statistics “give cumulative summaries for successive time periods of population movements like birth, death, migration, marriage and marital dissolution as well as demographic and other relevant characteristics of the individuals involved in these events.”
In simple words, Vital statistics, or vital events or vital records as they are known generally, have become an important resource for demographic data. It explicates statistical events such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, etc.
Vital statistics involves:
Quantities and rates of births,
Important characteristics of births, such as births by sex, location and maternal age,
Quantities and rates of deaths, and
Deaths by essential characteristics such as age, sex, location and cause of death.
Vital statistics are the statistical yield under the civil registration system, and the information, involved within the individual civil registration records, is assembled in order to create vital statistics for the population.
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In most of the underdeveloped countries, the registration of birth, deaths, marriages, migration, etc is not conducted, especially people who live in rural regions, due to bulk illiteracy and ignorance.
In opposite to that, in most of the developing and developed, it has mandated to make registration of vital records like births, deaths, marriages, divorces, migrations, etc.
Live Birth: It is a full exclusion from its mother as a product of conception, heedless of the pregnancy duration, that after segregation breaths and devote the evidence of life (conduction of heartbeat, and pulse, or definite activities of voluntary muscles, etc,) whether or not placenta has been attached. Each product of such a birth is accounted for as live birth or live born.
Marriage: It is considered as the permanent commitment of a man and women who are entered into a new life for the purpose of marriage and family life in accordance with the law.
Death: It signifies the long-lasting disappearance of the complete evidence of life at any instant of time after live birth has taken place.
Fetal Death: It indicates the death prior to the full exclusion of a product of conception from its mother, regardless of pregnancy duration. The death is signified with the facts and figures that after segregation, the fetus doesn’t breathe or exhibit any proof of life such as the execution of heartbeat, pulses, or activities of voluntary muscles.
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Types of Vital Statistics
Simply, Vital statistics incorporates a number of some significant vital events that take place in human life, for example, birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorce, judicial separation, adoption, legitimation, and recognition that combinedly generate an excessive amount of data and can be analyzed through vital statistics.
The following are some of the major types of vital statistics;
Birth Statistics: It includes an absolute number of births, crude birth rates, and sex ratio at birth. It also comprises fertility rates in terms of adolescent birth rate, age-specific fertility rate, and total fertility rates as well as low birth weight and preterm live births.
Marriage Statistics: It consists of an absolute number of marriages, age-specific distributions and rates, the median age at marriage.
Divorce Statistics: It involves an absolute number of divorces, age-specific distributions and rates, the median age at divorce and cause of divorce.
Death Statistics: It covers an absolute number of deaths, crude death rates, age-, sex-, and cause-specific death rates. Moreover, death statistics include life table and life expectancy, infant mortality, under-five mortality and maternal mortality ratio. (From)
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6 Uses of Vital Statistics
For the people and the nation, vital statistics is of much importance;
For the individual
Vital statistics have much of use for the individuals, for example, a child’s birth certificate, that is being issued by the registering authority, is a crucial document that has the data of date, time, place, and parentage of the child, also it authorized child’s identity as the citizen of the respective country.
A birth certificate is a legal document that is deployed in various tasks such as for taking admission in school, for obtaining a passport, to migrate in another country, etc.
Likewise, a marriage certificate keeps the record of the marital status of a couple, death certificate records the no more existence of a person in the world, etc.
For legal usage
Vital statistics are legally extremely beneficiary, such as issued certificates related to birth, death, marriage, divorce, etc are legally important.
For example, a death certificate is necessary and an important legal document for the settlement of property of the expired person, for claiming his/her insurance policy, etc.
(Referred blog: Descriptive Analysis)
Health and family planning programmes
Related to births and deaths records, vital statistics are used in health and planning programmes under the government system. The causes behind deaths, and the mortality rates of several categories aid in capturing the health conditions of the people.
In accordance with this data, the state authority can design health programmes such as malaria eradication, polio and tiny pox vaccine, tuberculosis, etc. Also, the government can launch hospitals, maternity and child welfare centres, etc. according to the requirement of the population.
For the study of social circumstances
In order to study the birth and death rate, divorce rate, widow remarriage, widowhood etc, vital statistics are of much use, it reflects the current situation/circumstances of the society as well as its customs and traditions.
For administrators and planners
Related to trend and population growth under the various age group and as a whole, vital statistics provide data and information that help planners and administrators for proposing and preparing policies for health, education, housing, transporting and communications, food supplies, etc.
For the nation
Vital statistics help in investigating the pollution trends at any instant of time and try to bridge the gap amid two censuses, therefore are very useful for the nation. It is related to the size, composition, distribution, growth of the population.
Population projections can be produced using these statistics, and assist in making policies for offering social securities to the people. Even though, the immigration rules and emigration can be formulated on the basis of population growth data.
Vital statistics are also useful for upgrading the electoral rolls system and division of constituencies. (Source)
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Vital Statistics System
Involving the entire process from collecting, organizing, and investing to circulating valuable information, drawn from vital events that are filled via civil registration system, vital statistics system works with the objective of having full, accurate and up to date data for the complete vital events, taking place in a nation.
Or simply, Vital Statistics system is the entire procedure of compiling by civil registration, enumeration, or implied estimation, information over the occurrence frequency of vital events, preferred characteristics of the events and the persons associated, and the collecting, investigating, evaluating, and distribution of such data in abstracted statistical form.
Moreover, the civil registration system is disparate from the various methods of collecting data, concerning population, as it is authorized by the law to be complete the cover the whole population, continuous and permanent which is up-to-dates in an ancient collection.
Therefore the information, gathered within vital statistics system, has the legal authority and hence in terms with these features, the vital statistics produced from civil registration, posses enormous advantages than other sources of vital statistics, like census or household surveys.
Some of the advantages are discussed below;
Constantly produced, as and when the events take place, and hence optimizing accurateness.
Accessible in an appropriate and convenient way over time and across geographics.
Brought about for the entire population across a nation at the lowest administrative level.
In addition to that, vital statistics, on births and deaths data, can be generated from the periodic censuses and household surveys.
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With the main objective of determining the number of births, deaths, marriages and divorces that occur within the nation, vital statistics deals in these areas as well as the characteristics associated with these demographic phenomena.
Vital statistics, truly the figures of life and deaths, embraces an irrefutable position of importance within a data resource of a country. In the simplest forms, the determination of births and deaths is one of the highest data accumulation preferences for any government.
“Many people that have been through the unemployment system realize that the corporate government unemployment statistics only report the short term unemployed and the long term unemployed and disabled are ignored.”― Steven Mage
Even though, vital statistics are the significant national information resource in themselves for learning and understanding public health and investigation some prime indicators like fertility, mortality, and causes of death and some other relevant factors.