View of Aljezur 'new town' from Castle atop old town

Going against the flow: the Algarve borough with the highest number of births…

…. Is Aljezur! One of the region’s smallest, most rural boroughs on the far west coast below the border with the Alentejo.

Totally contradicting the ‘norm’ as registered by the recent census (click here), Aljezur’s popularity among Portuguese nationals and foreigners alike is growing.

While this is excellent news for the municipality, it also throws up all kinds of challenges – not least the availability of affordable accommodation.

The high cost of properties in the Aljezur area, and the mushrooming of ‘AL’ tourist lodgings, has priced out many locals, and meant that businesses have a hard time finding the labour they need.

Welcoming the news about increasing birth rates, Mayor José Gonçalves says nonetheless that the next ‘big problem’ that needs to be tackled in his borough is how to make Aljezur more ‘inclusive’ so that it can grow with its increasing population.

In terms of other boroughs in the Algarve, the number of babies born in Aljezur in 2020 (compared to numbers for 2001) translated into an 83.8% increase: 57 as opposed to 31.

Vila do Bispo comes next with a 58% increase, followed by Silves (36%) and Albufeira (16.5%).

The Algarve as a region is one of the only places where populations are growing – thanks very much to foreigners.

One in every four babies born in the region is to a foreigner, these days most often the babies are of Brazilian, Indian, Nepalese or Pakistani origin.

Whereas in the early 2000s, the foreign children being born in Portugal were generally of Eastern European descent, this has now changed – particularly as intensive agricultural projects attracting (cheap) immigrant labour have been allowed to proliferate (bringing with them their own share of problems click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com