Key demographic indicators

49.3 PER 1,000 LIVE BIRTHS

Under-five mortality rate

27,410,000

Population

CRVS – Birth, Marriage and Death Registration in Ghana – UNICEF DATA

 

 

A well developed and functioning civil registration system ensures the registration of all vital events including births, marriages and deaths and issues relevant certificates as proof of such registration. Civil registration promotes efficient government planning, effective use of resources and aid, and more accurate monitoring of progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 

Legal framework for birth registration Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1965 (Act 301);

The law ensures the registration of all births, deaths and fetal deaths. It also addresses fraud, alterations in the register, offences and penalties.

Official authorities in charge of registering births Births and Deaths Registry, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development
Organizational structure Centralized
Is there a legal obligation to register the birth of a child? Yes
Is an official birth certificate issued as a result of birth registration? Yes, immediately

Download sample birth certificate

Legal informant to register a birth Father and mother of the child;

In the case of the death or incapacity of the father and mother, other legal informants can include:

-Person present at the birth;

-Person having charge of the child;

-Occupier of the premises in which the child is born, if the occupier has knowledge of the birth.

Time allowed for registration Within the first year of birth
Fee for birth registration No
Can the fee be increased or waived? No
Fee for birth certificate No
Penalty for late registration Yes, a fine is issued for registration [of the child] after the first year of birth
Other official fees involved in the birth registration process No
Requirements or fees specific to children who are eligible for citizenship but were born outside the country No
Requirements or fees specific to children whose parents are foreign nationals No
Requirements for birth registration Immunization card, Name of the child
Information collected Regarding the child: Name, Date of birth, Sex, Place of occurrence [of the birth], Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.), Date of registration, Place of registration, Attendant at birth, Type of birth (single, twin, triplet and so forth)

Regarding the mother of the child: Date of birth or age, Educational attainment, Place of usual residence, Children born alive to the mother during her entire lifetime, Birth order parity, Maiden name, Nationality

Regarding the father of the child: Date of birth or age of the father, Educational attainment, Nationality, Occupation (whether gainfully employed), Religion

Processing Data are initially captured manually and then electronically scanned
Place of registration Civil registrar’s office, Mayor’s office, Other district or local authority, Hospital or health centre, Village/commune elder, head or administrator in the place of occurrence of the birth
A birth certificate is required for: It is not mandatory to provide birth certificate for services.
Process for establishing vital statistics on births Processing starts from location of capture – from the communities to the district offices, then to the regional offices where district registrations are collated, and finally to the central registry at the national capital, where national figures are collated in the national database.

Download sample birth certificate

Download sample birth registration form

Data sources: Information on civil registration systems was compiled over a period from December 2016 to November 2017 using the existing relevant legal frameworks and in consultation with CRVS experts, officials within the relevant national institutions, and UNICEF country offices. All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify this country profile; updates will be made to reflect changes in policy and implementation and/or new information.

 

Legal framework for marriage registration Marriages Act 1884-1985, Cap 127, which consolidates:

– Customary Marriage and Divorce (Registration) Law, 1985 (PNDCL 112);

– Customary Marriage and Divorce (Registration) (Amendment) Law, 1991;

– Marriages of Mahomedans (formerly Cap 129);

– Christian and Other Marriages (formerly Cap 127).

Official authorities in charge of registering a marriage Registrar General’s Department
Organizational structure Centralized
Legal age for marriage 21 years old for both sexes;

Exemptions: Marriage between ages 18 and 21 requires parents’ consent.

Is there a legal obligation to register marriages? Yes, in the case of special licence marriage and ordinance;

No, in the case of Mohamedan marriage;

Optional under the law in the case of traditional marriage.

Is an official marriage certificate issued as a result of marriage registration?  Yes, immediately
Legal informant to register a marriage Bride or groom (ordinance marriage), Representatives from both families (traditional or customary marriage)
Time allowed for registration Under special licence, marriage is registered as soon as it is celebrated; in the case of traditional marriage, registration can be done any time after the marriage ceremony.
Fee for marriage registration Yes
Can the fee be increased or waived? Yes, fees can be increased
Fee for marriage certificate No
Penalty for late registration No
Other official fees involved in the marriage registration process Yes
Additional registration requirements or fees if one spouse was born outside the country or has dual citizenship No
Requirements for marriage registration Generally, for all the three types of marriage (customary, Mohamedan, and ordinance), the requirement is that men and women aged 18 years and above, who are not closely related by blood or through marriage, can lawfully enter into a marriage provided that other laws in force do not prohibit the relationship.

The parties to an intended marriage identify themselves with a national ID; either one or both parties must have resided in the district of registration for at least 15 days prior to the registration of the marriage.

Information collected Date of occurrence, Date of registration, Place of occurrence, Place of registration, Date of birth or age of bride, Date of birth or age of groom
Processing Manually (on paper), Electronically (via computer)
Place of registration Civil registrar’s office, Mayor’s office or other district or local authority, Tribunal, Village/commune;

Under special licence, the marriage is registered where it takes place (i.e. courts and district offices, churches, registrar’s office).

A marriage certificate is required for: Proof of marriage, especially for ordinance marriage
Process for establishing vital statistics on marriage Data are processed in the office where the marriage was contracted (e.g., courts, district office, Principal Registrar’s office); there is no central place to gather vital statistics.

 

Data sources: Information on civil registration systems was compiled over a period from December 2016 to November 2017 using the existing relevant legal frameworks and in consultation with CRVS experts, officials within the relevant national institutions, and UNICEF country offices. All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify this country profile; updates will be made to reflect changes in policy and implementation and/or new information.

 

Legal framework for death registration Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1965 (Act 301);

The law ensures the registration of all births, deaths and fetal deaths. It also addresses fraud, alterations in the register, offences and penalties.

Official authorities in charge of registering a death Births and Deaths Registry (national)
Organizational structure Centralized
Is there a legal obligation to register deaths? Yes
Is an official death certificate issued as a result of death registration?  Yes, immediately
Legal informant to register a death Nearest relative of the deceased present at the death or in attendance at the last illness of the deceased or:

– Relative of the deceased residing or being within the registration district in default of the above;

– Occupier of the premises in which the death occurred, if a relative is not available;

– Other adult person present at the death or having knowledge of the death;

– The coroner who has been notified of the death and has made an inquiry or held an inquiry regarding the death.

Time allowed for registration The death must be registered within 14 days after occurrence. Registration outside this period attracts a penalty.
Fee for death registration No
Can the fee be increased or waived? No
Fee for death certificate No
Penalty for late registration Yes, a fee is instituted after 14 days of death and increases after burial; there will be no registration after 5 years
Other official fees involved in the death registration process Yes
Registration requirements or fees specific for the deaths of people who were residents in the country and also of foreign nationality No
Requirements for death registration Medical death certificate, Coroner’s inquest report form
Information collected Regarding the deceased: Name, Sex, Date of birth or age, Marital status, Place of usual residence, Parents’ place of residence for deceased persons below age 15 years

Regarding the death: Date of death, Place of occurrence of the death, Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.), Date of registration, Place of registration, Cause of death, Certifier

Information collected in case of fetal death Date of occurrence of fetal delivery, Date of registration, Place of occurrence, Place of registration, Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.), Sex of the fetus, Date of birth or age of the mother, Name of parents, Cause of death;

There is a separate register for evidence that child was stillborn and type of birth.

Processing Data are initially captured manually and then electronically scanned
Place of registration Civil registrar’s office, Hospital or health centre, Place of occurrence of the death
A death certificate is required for: Cremation, Burial, Inheritance;

A death certificate is sometimes needed to process certain documents that will facilitate the inheritance process, though it may not be directly required.

Process for establishing vital statistics on deaths The Ghana Statistical Service is the government agency mandated to produce and publish death and mortality statistics. Data processing begins at the district level where events registered in the communities are collated, then forwarded to the regional level, and finally to the national capital. Data on mortality are expected to be submitted monthly to the National Statistics Office, but this is not strictly adhered to.

Download sample death registration form

Data sources: Information on civil registration systems was compiled over a period from December 2016 to November 2017 using the existing relevant legal frameworks and in consultation with CRVS experts, officials within the relevant national institutions, and UNICEF country offices. All reasonable precautions have been taken by UNICEF to verify this country profile; updates will be made to reflect changes in policy and implementation and/or new information.

 

MICS

Since its inception in 1995, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, known as MICS, has become the largest source of statistically sound and internationally comparable data on women and children worldwide. In countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Mali and Qatar, trained fieldwork teams conduct face-to-face interviews with household members on a variety of topics – focusing mainly on those issues that directly affect the lives of children and women.