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Expert Group Meeting to Review the United Nations Demographic Yearbook System 10-14 November 2003 New York. The United Nations Demographic Yearbook: In Need of Improvement. Demographic and Social Statistics Branch United Nations Statistics Division.

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The United Nations Demographic Yearbook: In Need of Improvement

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Expert Group Meeting to

Review the United Nations Demographic Yearbook System

10-14 November 2003

New York

The United Nations Demographic Yearbook: In Need of Improvement

Demographic and Social Statistics Branch

United Nations Statistics Division


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook System

  • Set of instruments and procedures for collecting, processing and disseminating national population statistics

  • Most visible product, the United Nations Demographic Yearbook , is a unique source of national population statistics, for over 230 countries or areas in the world.


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • The Statistical Commission and the Population Commission of the United Nations were established in 1946

  • Based on their recommendations the Economic and Social Council introduced the Demographic Yearbook, as a major vehicle for collecting, processing and disseminating population statistics


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • Initially, there were 48 topics included in the Demographic Yearbook, pertaining to

    • Area and population

    • Economically active population

    • International migration

    • Natality

    • Mortality

    • Morbidity

    • Marriage and divorse


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • Sources of data at national level:

    • Population and Housing Census

    • Civil registration and vital statistics system

    • Administrative records


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • Collecting and presenting statistics and meta-data from national censuses exposed gaps in coverage and methodological inconsistencies

  • Consequently, these Demographic Yearbook findings initiated two major United Nations programmes:


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • The work on methodological standards, resulting in introducing and updating the Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses and accompanying manuals and handbooks

  • The work on assisting countries in conducting their censuses through a number of technical assistance projects


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • Similarly, in the field of civil registration and vital statistics, the findings of the Demographic Yearbook initiated another two sets of programmes:


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • The work on the Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System, a set of methodological standards, and

  • The International Programme for Accelerating the Improvement of Vital Statistics and Civil Registration Systems,a set of activities such as producing handbooks, training manuals and conducting regional workshops


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: A Brief History

  • Therefore, the Demographic Yearbook has, from the beginning, several major functions:

    • Collecting, processing and disseminating population statistics and meta-data for the world

    • Initiating substantial programmes for statistical capacity building at the national level

    • Powerful research tool

    • Foundation for the analytical work on population within the United Nations


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: Today


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook:Ways of Improvement

  • The questionnaires:

    • Harmonization with international principles and recommendations:

      • Definitions

      • Classifications

      • Tabulations

    • Removing topics

    • Adding topics

    • Meta-data


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook:Ways of Improvement

  • Response rates

    • Format of the questionnaires

    • On-line filling?

    • Building the Demographic Yearbook Network

    • Regional training workshops

    • Improving national statistical capacities

    • Use of OCR technologies to capture data


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook:Ways of Improvement

  • Dissemination

    • Eliminating the time lag between collection and dissemination

    • On-line dissemination

    • Regional, custom-made overviews

    • Opening the Demographic Yearbook database to the outside users


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: Conclusion

  • The Demographic Yearbook is a major reference publication

  • Provides national statistics used in

    • monitoring population and social phenomena,

    • assessing national statistical capacities,

    • evaluating methodological approaches and national practices,

    • providing a model for collection and dissemination of data, to name a few.


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United Nations Demographic Yearbook: Conclusion

  • At this moment, a specific Demographic Yearbook Work Programme 2004-2014 is being put together, listing activities and actions needed to improve components of the system, and this Expert Group Meeting is the major building block in this process.


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