Portugal has registered the second lowest birth rate among the 28 member states of the European Union (EU), a report by Eurostat, the EU official office of statistics, has revealed.
Portugal had around 87 thousand births in 2016, which represents a rate of 8.4 births per 1,000 persons, the second lowest rate in the EU, only surpassed by Italy.
Accordingly, Portugal’s total population shrunk from 10.341 million on January 1, 2016, to 10.309 in January 1, 2017, which represents exactly 2% of the EU population.
Portugal has also registered a death rate of 10.8 per 1,000 inhabitants, while recording declining low birth rates and ageing population for almost a decade, registering negative results since 2009.
The Eurostat has also reported an increase in the in the EU population – from 510.3 million in January 1, 2016, to 511.8 million in January 1, 2017 – although there has been virtually the same amount of births and deaths (5.1 million).
The highest birth rates were reported in Ireland (13.5 per 1,000 persons), Sweden, United Kingdom (both at 11.8) while the lowest birth rates were registered in southern European countries, namely Italy (7.8), then Portugal (8.4), followed by Greece (8.6) and Spain (8.7).
Germany is the most populous EU Member State, followed by France, (67 million), the United Kingdom (65.8 million), Italy, (60.6 million), Spain (46.5 million) and Poland (38 million).
Italy is the country where women are the oldest when giving birth to their first child, at about 31, while in Portugal the average age for the first child is 29.5.