Portuguese American Journal

2012 – Negative birth rate decreases further – Portugal

In 2012, Portugal’s natural balance, the difference between births and deaths, was once again negative by its widest margin ever in recent history.

According to Laura Vilarinho, director of the newborn vaccination program, 90,026 children were born in Portugal in 2012, the lowest figure in decades.

The number shows a decrease of about 7,000 births, compared to 2011 when 97,200 births were recorded. In 2010, the country had registered 101,381 births.

The birth rate in 2012 was expected to fall by approximately 10% percent, below the 100,000. The population of Portugal stands at about 10,642,836 individuals.

The country needs the average family to have 2.1 children, but the latest figures released in November of last year pointed to a figure of 1.5, a consistent threat to Portugal’s generation balance.

Currently, Portuguese women’s fertility rate currently stands at 1.32, amongst the lowest rates in the world, making Portugal one of the countries in Europe with the lowest birth rate after Germany.

Last year, 20,290 women in Portugal had an abortion, of which 97 % voluntarily terminated their pregnancy within the first ten weeks, according to the latest available figures from the national health board (DGS).

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General Information on Portugal – Official Name: Portuguese Republic – Government Type: Parliamentary democracy – Population: 10,642,836 – Area: 92,391 sq. km., including the Azores and Madeira Islands; slightly smaller than Indiana – Languages: Portuguese – Literacy: Total population: 93.3%; Male: 95.5%; Female: 91.3% – Year of Independence: 1143

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