Lockdown Spain results in historically low birth rate

by Deborah Cater
Spanish birth rate hits all time low
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2019 was already the year with the lowest number of births (360,617) since registration began in 1941. Last December and January saw a further decrease in birth rate of 23% (13,141) compared to the previous year.

The birth rate in Spain was already low. This was due to the relatively small number of women of childbearing age and the increasing delay in having children. The delay is due to economic insecurity and lack of being able to live independently. In 2020 and 2021, the uncertainty caused by the corona pandemic has added to this. December 2019 and January 2020 are 9 months after the start of the lockdown.

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Compared to January 2020, the registry office received 6,889 fewer registrations in the same month this year. While there was still a decrease of 1.7% in 2020 compared to the previous year, this year the decrease was no less than 23%. Neighbouring countries France (-13%) and Italy (-21.6%) also registered fewer births 9 months after the start of the lockdown.

It remains to be seen what the consequences will be on birth rates 9 months after each of the second and third waves. And even after that, Diego Ramiro, director of CSIC, does not expect a recovery once that storm is over. “Apart from the epidemic crisis, we will be experiencing an economic crisis and we have already seen the effects of the economic crisis that started in 2008 and which has continued deterioration. Now we are entering a year of stagnation and we will see the lowest fertility level Spain has ever had”.

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