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Census21

‘It’s not right. One turns his back and, suddenly, there are 214,286 Portuguese missing’
(Miguel Cardoso, Portuguese journalist)

In the last 10 years, Portugal has lost 214,286 citizens (-2%) according to preliminary data from the 2021 Census, released on 28 July by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
It is the second time that something like this has happened.

Since 1864, the Portuguese population has always grown. Except between 1960 and 1970, when – in the grip of a brutal dictatorship – a huge emigration wave swept a quarter of a million people out of the country. After the 70s, the numbers kept going up again, until now.

The main reason for the current decline is the tumbling fertility rate.
In the first six months of this year, 4500 fewer babies were born than in the same period last year. It is the lowest number in over 30 years.

Despite the fact that a record of almost 150.000 foreigners – mainly from Brazil and Israel – obtained Portuguese nationality in 2020, the positive migration balance of the last years proved not to be enough to compensate for the decline.

Only the Algarve (+3.7%) and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (+1.7%) are showing growth. Albeit at the expense of the interior parts of the country (Alentejo province – 6,9%), that continue to lose inhabitants in favor of coastal grounds.

Reduction in the asymmetry between the coast and the interior has been part of the political discourse for a long time. Census21 shows that that has been in vain.

The inner cities of Lisbon (-1,4%) and Porto (-2,4%) also show population decline. Exorbitant housing prices and dwellings being transformed into tourist accommodation, force an increasing number of residents to the outskirts.

Half of the country’s population (currently 10,3 million) is nowadays concentrated in municipalities located in the Metropolitan Areas of Lisbon and Porto; 28% in the Extended Lisbon Area (2,871,133) alone.

The rise in foreign residents (in particular from the UK) and expansion of the tourism industry, together with an increase in the intensive agricultural sector – and the considerable influx of migrant (mainly Asian) labor associated with this activity – probably explains the population boost in the Algarve.

‘If there is no reversal of the natural balance – particularly in births –  we will become increasingly dependent on migration from abroad to save our population’, concludes Francisco Lima, CEO of INE.


Stay healthy                                    Fique saudável              (pic Público)






Population

New research predicts the European population to fall more sharply than previously expected; from 450 million today to 310 million by the end of the century. The reason is a further decline in the fertility rate – the average number of children per woman.

Many variables have an effect of the fertility rate such as marriage age, access to birth control, the right to abortion and education to women. If the rate falls below approximately 2.1, the size of the population starts to fall, as is the case in Portugal, that has a fertility rate of 1.4.
However, with the new estimates of the study, Portugal will see their population further reduce by more than half by 2100.

In 2019 Portugal had a population of 10,3 million, about 280 thousand people less than a decade ago. The 2,7% decrease observed was mainly driven by a decrease in births but the migratory balance ended up attenuating this trend, given the fact that in the last ten years over 400 thousand immigrants entered the country as ‘new citizens’.

Aside from fewer people, the country registers a progressively older population, verifiable by the fact that only the group of people over 65 years of age increased between 2009 and 2019. In fact, Portugal is – after Italy and Greece –  the third most aged EU country with the lowest percentage of young people. More than 20% of the Portuguese is over 65 and only 14% less than 15 years of age. There are now 163 elderly people for every 100 young ones.

About 52% of the population over 15 years has no more than basic education; the lowest percentage in Europe! In contrast, the percentage of people with secondary or higher education increased in the last decade to 33%. Though in 2019 still, 6% of the population over 15 years of age has no schooling whatsoever.

A WHO study of youngsters done before the corona epidemic revealed that Portuguese teenagers are more home-keeping than European and like less school. Only 9,5% of them say they like to go there. If performed now the survey might show surprising results as the pandemic seems to have improved the relationship between adolescents and schools, according to Tânia Gaspar, a psychologist and one of the researchers of the study. ‘Youngsters are more responsible now and closer to their teachers, who had to reinvent work methods – such as technologies – that were already familiar to their students.’

Stay healthy                          Fique saudavel             (pic público/sapo)