Since October, 1965, births and deaths in rural Gujarat State, India, have been recorded under two independent systems in a random sample of units. First, a part-time local “registrar” is appointed in each sample unit (village or segment thereof) who: prepares a house list; conducts a baseline survey showing the individuals in each household; and maintains a list of the vital events reported by informants whom he contacts fortnightly. Second, a staff member at the rural health centre is assigned part-time supervisory and survey duties: to check the initial listings of the registrar; thereafter, to inspect the registrar’s records at least quarterly; and to conduct a household survey each six months, updating the household register and recording births and deaths independently. The registrar’s list is sent to the district office immediately before the survey, where it is matched with the survey list forwarded by the local supervisor. A list of unmatched events is returned to the supervisor who with the registrar revisits households to resolve the discrepancies. Under-registration is estimated to be 13 to 20 percent by the registrar method, 8 to 17 percent by the survey method. The birth rate is estimated to be about 44 and the death rate about 19.

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