Spain’s fertility rate is dropping while its population is ageing. The country of 46 million is at risk of becoming a demographic time bomb, and it is not alone. Fewer babies are being born across Southern Europe.
In 2018 there were 373,000 births in Spain, the lowest figure in the last two decades, according to data published by Spain’s National Statistics Institute. Since then, that number has fallen further. In the first six months of 2019, there were 170,000 births, the lowest figure since 1941.
It means that deaths keep outpacing births. In 2018 there were 54,994 more deaths than births.
That same year, women in Spain had an average of 1.26 children. The average in 1980 was 2.2 children per woman.
Because couples are having their first child later in life, their chances of having multiple children are reduced. Spain, according to the latest data by Eurostat, has become the European country with the highest proportion of first-time mothers over 40.