“Never have fewer babies been born in Portugal”

With so much focus on excess deaths in the last few months, it’s time now to see the flip-side of the pandemic: “never have fewer babies been born in Portugal” reports SIC television news today. New data for January and February shows that births have plummeted to the lowest levels since records began. National statistics institute (INE) registered 5,912 births in January (19.3% lower than the same period in 2020), 5,651 in February (11.1% lower than in February 2020). With the number of deaths for those two months ‘higher’ than normal, the result has been “a strong worsening of the natural balance” – a sign that Portugal’s already diminishing population has been given another shove in the wrong direction.