According to official figures just released, Spain´s birth rate has fallen to the lowest level since records began 80 years ago.
The prelimary figures from 3,929 registries ( representing 93% of the country) show that recorded births fell by 22.6% in 2020 due, it seems to the coronavirus pandemic and it´s economic consequences.
The figures for the months of December 2020 and January 2021 show that 45,054 newborns were registered compared to 58,195 biths for the same months in 2019 and 2020 – a fall of 13,141.
The data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), shows that Spain´s overall population of 47,351, 567 has flatlined with negative growth in the last decade and which comprises of over 5 million foreign nationals, meaning that the number of Spaniards is actually falling.
The 2020 figures show that the country´s fertility rate is 1.19 per woman – down from 1.3 in 2019 which is itself a figure not seen since 1941 when official records were started.
In the four decades until 1980, Spain´s fertility rate was amongst the highest in Europe, averaging between 2.5 and 3 children per woman until falling off substancially to less than half that within 20 years.
Experts believe that the fertility rate is unlikely to recover in the short term, as young couples grapple with the economic uncertainty of the post covid recovery.
The low fertility rate is likely to exasperate Spain´s falling population which had already been forecast to fall to 46,577,094 by 2025.
Should the latest figures become a trend it may even accelerate to a longer term fall to as much as half the present population in the coming decades.