64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Towards register-based official statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean: A reachable dream?


Mr Federico Segui


  • DA
    Diego Aboal
  • LTO
    Mr Leonardo Trujillo Oyola
  • AF
    Mrs Aylin Flores Hinojosa
  • FS
    Mr Federico Segui
  • MS
    Dr Markus Sovala
  • Category: International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS)


    In recent years, the NSOs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have been advancing steadily towards the construction of national statistical systems based on integrated statistical registers systems (from administrative sources). Some countries in LAC have adapted the Nordic countries’ model to build statistical population registers from the integration of several administrative sources that have been consolidated as the basis for future register-based censuses.

    Several difficulties have been found on this journey: outdated legal frameworks; lack of national population register with address of residence (updated); poor quality migration registers; different reference time among administrative registers; different concepts, definitions; variables and units between administrative and statistical registers. But the big challenge is accessing to administrative data in a sustainable way.
    Despite these problems, some LAC countries have made steady progress in using administrative registers for statistical purposes based on some strengths: strong National Statistical System; good reputation and image of the NSO; widely used personal id numbers; good coverage and quality of administrative registers (in several cases).

    Four countries of LAC (Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay) have built or are building population registers and other statistical registers using personal identification numbers to link records from different data sources.
    They have already started to produce statistics from administrative registers on a regular basis, like labour market statistics based on integration of several administrative data sources (registers of beneficiaries of social programs, health, education, social security contributors, business registers from social security and tax authorities).

    Furthermore, these countries are taking advantage of the traditional population censuses that will be carried out between 2022 and 2023 to pilot register-based censuses and compare the results with the traditional census taking the same reference time.
    In this invited paper session, these experiences in the region will be presented and their sustainability and use in population censuses will be discussed. Also, we will try to answer the main question “is an official statistics system based on administrative registers in LAC an achievable dream?”

    This session seeks to inspire other NSOs from LAC and other regions to continue in this direction, despite the difficulties and differences with the Nordic and other countries that have already advanced on this way. It is possible…