Birth rate falls in Spain for second year running

THE birth rate in Spain is at its lowest in the past seven years, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics.

In 2010, 484,055 children were born, which is two per cent fewer than the previous year, and the gross birthrate (per 1,000 inhabitants) was 10.51, the lowest since 2003. This is the second year it has gone down, after 10 years of rising figures.

This, according to the survey, is mainly due to a progressive drop in the number of women in fertile age, as the number of children per woman, which is 1.38, only dropped slightly from 2009. The average age of first-time mothers in Spain is 31.2, although foreign residents have their first child at an average of 28.7 and Spanish women at 31.9. The number of children born to foreign mothers was the same as the previous two years, around 20.3 per cent of the total.

Meanwhile, the same survey reveals that the average life expectancy rose to 82, and is higher amongst women (84.9 years) than men (78.9). The number of deaths also fell compared to the previous year to 378,667, and the number per 1,000 inhabitants was 8.34, compared to 8.22 the previous year. Only 2.8 per cent of them were foreigners, despite foreign residents making up for 12 per cent of the population.

The total number of marriages last year was 169,020, which is 3.6 per cent less than the previous year. In 21.5 per cent of unions, at least one of the couple was foreign, and 2.1 per cent of marriages were between people of the same sex, 0.4 per cent more than in 2009.

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