THE 170,074 children who came to the world between January and June of this year represent the lowest figure recorded since 1941, the first year for which data are available.
A record number of deaths, the economic crisis and late motherhood have all had an effect on statistics
The country’s National Statistics Institute (INE) data on birth rate reflect that Spain is plummeting towards being an ageing country. Between January and June of this year, Spain recorded the lowest number of births since the Second World War. In the first six months of this year only 170,000 children were born in Spain. The lowest figure since 1941, the first year since there have been records.
What’s more, the number of deaths has also grown meaning that there are currently more registered deaths than births. The negative trend began in 2015, and is forecast to last into the future.
Daniel Devolder of the Barcelona Autonomous University states that for fertility to rise there need to be conditions allowing couples to have a sense of security in terms of their medium-term financial outlook.
Devolder adds that another key factor which influences the current birth rate is that couples now tend to have their first child later in life, something that reduces the probability of people having more children.
As Euro Weekly News understands, during the year 2017, first-time mothers were on average aged 32.1 in Spain, a record high. “The rise in the age when women are having their first child is the main problem that is affecting Spain’s fertility rate,” Devolder explains.
Despite the negative natural growth rate, the population of Spain – around 46.6 million – is rising due to immigration. Currently, one in every five babies born in Spain has a mother from abroad.