A robust atlas-to-subject registration using a statistical deformation model (SDM) is presented. The SDM uses statistics of voxel-wise displacement learned from pre-computed deformation vectors of a training dataset. This allows an atlas instance to be directly translated into an intensity volume and compared with a patient’s intensity volume. Rigid and non-rigid transformation parameters were simultaneously optimized via the Covariance Matrix Adaptation – Evolutionary Strategy (CMA-ES), with image similarity used as the objective function. The algorithm was tested on CT volumes of the pelvis from 55 female subjects. A performance comparison of the CMA-ES and Nelder-Mead downhill simplex optimization algorithms with the mutual information and normalized cross correlation similarity metrics was conducted. Simulation studies using synthetic subjects were performed, as well as leave-one-out cross validation studies. Both studies suggested that mutual information and CMA-ES achieved the best performance. The leave-one-out test demonstrated 4.13 mm error with respect to the true displacement field, and 26,102 function evaluations in 180 seconds, on average.