The beginning of the year saw little Ariadna be the first baby born in Spain in 2020. At two minutes past 12, the little girl was welcomed into the world in the hospital of Elda in Alicante. But according to the latest figures, the miracle of life is beginning to see a drastic decrease.
The downward trend continues as less and less babies are born every year. So much so, that in a decade the number of births has fallen by 30 per cent in the province in Alicante. The number has plunged from 20,202 births in 2008 to 14,161 at the end of 2018.
In this framework, the gross birth rates (number of births per thousand inhabitants) and fertility rates (number of births per thousand women) are at their lowest point since 1975. And, the National Institute of Statistics anticipates that in 2030 there will be only 13,045 births in the province.
The fall in birth, alongside the ageing population, represents a real economic challenge for the province. Currently, per every pensioner there are 2.2 workers who contribute taxes. However, it is estimated that in 2030 the number of retirees will shoot from 9.6 to 15 million. This would mean just one employee per pensioner, meaning the system wouldn’t be viable.
The head at the College of Economists highlighted that 14.5 million new jobs would need to be created, something that he doesn’t believe to be very likely. Other options are increasing retirement age and complementary individual contributions. Experts also believe that encouraging births is a necessary measure and a demographic challenge that should begin to equate in the Government’s agenda.