Vital registration in Ghana (the Gold Coast) began as far back as 1888. However, at its inception, it was registration of deaths. It was not until 1912 that the registration of births was introduced. The registration system has gone through a series of transformations just as the law establishing it has seen a number of amendments. All this was aimed at improving upon the final delivery system.
Starting as the Cemeteries Ordinance of 1888, it was first amended in 1891. In 1912, it became the Births and Deaths and Burials Ordinance, which once again amended in 1926. This was finally replaced with the Registration of Births and Deaths Act of 1965, (Act 301) which is the legislation currently in force.
The Births and Deaths Registry was therefore established by the Act 301 of 1965, within the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to handle and develop the births and deaths registration system in Ghana. Its core business is to provide accurate and reliable information on all births and deaths occurring within Ghana for Socio-economic development of the Country through their registration and certification.