Declining births rate in Spain continues

by Lorraine Williamson
Spain births

MADRID – Births in Spain fell by 3% until October this year compared to the same period in 2020. Twelve autonomous regions showed a decrease in the birth rate, 5 sub-regions showed (slight) growth. 

From January to October 2021, 281,712 children were born in Spain, 8,742 fewer or 3% less than the same period in 2020, according to data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE). The Madrid and Catalonia sub-regions saw the biggest absolute drop in the number of births last year 

Downward trend 

For years, births in Spain have shown a constant downward trend during the first 10 months of the year: 281,712 in 2021; 290,454 in 2020; 299,944 in 2019; 309,794 in 2018; 326,249 in 2017 and 342,610 in 2016. In 2021, the autonomous region of Madrid showed the biggest decrease, where 45,167 children were born in the first 10 months of last year, compared to 42,259 in the period to October 2021. This means that 2,908 fewer children have been born so far this year. 

Regions where the birth rate also fell 

The number of births in Catalonia also fell in 2021, where 48,215 births were recorded in the first 10 months of this year, 1,570 fewer than in 2020, when 49,785 children were born. 

In the Valencian Community, 826 fewer children were born this year than in 2020, when 30,521 newborns were born. Castilla y León follows, with 818 fewer children than in 2020, when 11,677 babies were born, followed by the Basque Country, where 11. 928 children were born this year, compared to 12,635 in 2020 – a decrease of 707 children. Castilla-La Mancha has also seen its birth rate fall this year, with 579 fewer children born than in 2020, when 12,607 children saw the light of day. 

The Canary Islands also saw a drop in the number of births in the first 10 months of 2021, where 10,621 children were born compared to the 11,157 children born in the same period last year. That is 536 fewer children. In Galicia, the birth rate also fell this year, with 474 fewer children born in 2021 than in 2020 (12,943). 

Slightly smaller decline 

In a number of regions, the birth rate did fall, but less sharply. In La Rioja, 232 fewer children were born than in 2020, when 1,967 were born; in Extremadura, 6,032 children were born this year, a decrease of 211 compared to last year (6,243). In the Balearic Islands, 133 fewer children were born than in 2020 (8,027). Last but not least is Asturias, where the number of births dropped by 62,2021 to 3,976. 

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Slight increase 

Despite the downward figures for Spain on a national level, there are a few communities where the number of births has increased slightly, such as in Aragón, where 8,257 children have been born so far this year, 563 more than in 2020 (7,694). 

The region of Murcia follows with an increase of 378 births compared to last year (11,112). In Cantabria, 2,970 babies were born this year, 66 more than in 2020 (2,904). 

Navarre (+49 babies) and Andalucia (+2) close the row. Andalucia is still the autonomous region where most children were born this year (55,627). 

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