The number of births in Portugal dipped again in the first half of this year according to statistics released by the National Program on Early Diagnosis, the newborn vaccination national program.
The 40,008 children born in this period represented a year-on-year fall of 3,830 births even. The total of births in 2012 came in at 90,026 children, around seven thousand fewer than in 2011. The population of Portugal stands at about 10,642,836 individuals.
The drop in births since 2008 has been so severe that slew of maternity wards are being closed and hundreds of schools are closing nationwide.
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.
Yet, Portugal has the sixth lowest infant mortality rate in the European Union (EU), but life expectancy is lower that the community average according to a another report released by the European Commission (EC).
According to the report on “health inequalities”, the infant mortality rate in Portugal went down from 5 children per 1,000 live births in 2001 to 3.1 in 2011, which is the sixth lowest in the EU, where the average is 3.9.
The lowest rate was in Sweden, with 2.1, while the highest was in Romania, with 9.4, though this was still much better than the rate of 18.4% seen in the country in 2001.
In terms of life expectancy, men in Portugal can expect to have 60.7 years of healthy life, while women can expect 58.7 years, figures that are below the European averages of 61.8 and 62.2.