Spanish birth rate hits lowest level since records began in 1941

Some Spanish regions have introduced financial measures and tax deductions to encourage people to start families

By REUTERS
February 22, 2024
A representational image shows a woman kissing an infant. — AFP

MADRID: Spain’s birth rate has dropped to its lowest level since records started in 1941, provisional data from its National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Wednesday, with just 322,075 babies adding to the country’s population of 48.6 million in 2023.

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Last year’s Spanish birth rate was down 2 percent compared with 2022, adding to a drop of almost 25 percent in a decade. This decline has left Spain with the second lowest fertility rate in the European Union, Eurostat data from 2021 shows, lagging Malta.

Eurostat’s data showed the rate in Spain at 1.19 live births per woman compared to the EU average of 1.53, both far short of the 2.1 at which existing population levels would be maintained.

Demographers and economists have urged Europe to rethink attempts to boost its flagging birth rate and some Spanish regions have introduced financial measures and tax deductions to encourage people to start families.

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