Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Statistics • COVID-19 response

Maintaining Civil Registration and Vital Statistics during the COVID-19 pandemic


This article is also available in Russian.

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting civil registration authorities under an unprecedented level of stress, where the failure to register all vital events may lead to serious difficulties in generating accurate and timely vital statistics. In the framework of the UN Legal Identity Agenda (LIA)—a holistic approach to civil registration, vital statistics and identity management launched in May 2019 and officially endorsed in March 2020—, the UN Legal Identity Task Force is working to assess the impact of COVID-19 on registration of vital events and generating vital statistics, and helping countries address these challenges.

The Task Force launched a short survey in order to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the functioning of civil registration worldwide, provide information regarding national solutions and a forum for exchange of experiences.

Building on the results of this survey, and with the support of UNECA, UNESCAP and SPC, the UN Legal Identity Task force has also issued a set of recommendations for supporting the continuous and complete civil registration of vital events in times of the pandemic. This document will be updated as needed, and the Task Force welcomes suggestions sent via e-mail to

The UN Legal Identity Agenda Task Force was established in 2019 to promote and implement the United Nations Legal Identity Agenda. It is co-chaired by the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) spearhead the implementation of UN LIA in their respective regions.