The global identification challenge: Who are the 1 billion people without proof of identity?

Vyjayanti Desai at The Worldbank: “…Using a combination of the self-reported figures from country authorities, birth registration and other proxy data, the 2018 ID4D Global Dataset suggests that as many as 1 billion people struggle to prove who they are. The data also revealed that of the 1 billion people without an official proof of identity:

  • 81% live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, indicating the need to scale up efforts in these regions
  • 47% are below the national ID age of their country, highlighting the importance of strengthening birth registration efforts and creating a unique, lifetime identity;
  • 63% live in lower-middle income economies, while 28% live in low-income economies, reinforcing that lack of identification is a critical concern for the global poor….

In addition, to further strengthen understanding of who the undocumented are and the barriers they face, ID4D partnered with the 2017 Global Findex to gather for the first time this year, nationally-representative survey data from 99 countries on foundational ID coverage, use, and barriers to access. Early findings suggest that residents of low income countries, particularly women and the poorest 40%, are the most affected by a lack of ID. The survey data (albeit limited in its coverage to people aged 15 and older) confirm that the coverage gap is largest in low income countries (LICs), where 38% of the surveyed population does not have a foundational ID. Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa shows the largest coverage gap, where close to one in three people in surveyed countries lack a foundational ID.

Although global gender gaps in foundational ID coverage are relatively small, there is a large gender gap for the unregistered population in low income countries – where over 45% of women lack a foundational ID, compared to 30% of men.  The countries with the greatest #gender gaps in foundational ID coverage also tend to be those with #legal barriers for women’s access to #identity documents….(More)”.