Spain’s birth rate plunges to its lowest level since the Second World War

SPAIN’S annual birth rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1941 when current reporting systems were introduced, according to the National Statistics Institute(INE).

In 2023, there were 322,075 new babies- 2% less than in the previous year and births have fallen by 24.1% over the last decade.

Just two regions- Madrid and Extremadura registered increased birth rates last year compared to 2022.

The figures show that the age of motherhood in Spain is rising and there are births to mums aged 40 or over (10.7% of the total) compared to women under 25 years of age (9.4%).

A decade ago, the former accounted for 6.8% and the latter 9.6%, which can be explained by socio-economic circumstances, job insecurity, difficulties in accessing housing, longer periods of higher education and a change in trends among young people.

Of those born in 2023, 51.4% were boys and 48.5% girls and in 62.5% of cases, the mother was between 30 and 39 years old; 26.8% were under 30; and 10.7% were over 40 years old (there were 3,233 births to women aged 45 to 49).

The INE does not say whether it was their first child or whether they already had offspring.

Back in 2013, there were more births to women aged 20 to 24 than to 40 to 44 (32,024 compared to 27,240), while in 2023 the opposite is true- there are 31,033 births to women aged 40 to 44 compared to 24,865 for women aged 20 to 24.

Compared to births, the number of deaths in 2023 stood at 435,331- 5.8% less than in 2022 but 4.6% more than in 2019, before the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

The reason for last year’s reduction could be the lower incidence of Covid-19.

By age, deaths only increased in children under 4 years of age, by 1.7% year-on-year, rising from 1,098 to 1,117.

The most populous regions are those that registered the most deaths: in Andalucia there were 75,129; in Catalunya, 67,665, and in Madrid, 47,423.

28% of deaths were among people aged 90 and over; 20% of the population aged 85 to 89; 13.4% of people aged 80 to 84; 11% were between 75 and 79 years old; 8% were aged 70 to 74, and the remaining 19.6% were under 70 years of age.


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