This note describes how Latin American and Caribbean countries can join a revolution in statistical systems, moving from data collection based on geographic frames to one based on administrative registers, and the advantages of making this change.  Northern European countries have already shifted from a traditional area frame–based statistical system to a register-based system, in which all surveys are based on statistical registers.

Among the key advantages of the shift are:

  • Lower production costs
  • Potential for higher levels of geographic disaggregation and greater frequency
  • Reduced burden on informants by following the maxim of “ask once, use many times”

Evidence from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru points to the viability of this transition in the region. However, to take better advantage of the new strategy, countries should invest to improve the quality and coverage of their administrative systems, and should create an integrated register system. This would allow for efficient data use, and ensure consistency and coherence across statistical registries.