Portugal – ageing rapidly

Portugal’s population is ageing rapidly and there are less new citizens being born every year.

Over the course of 40 years, what was once the European country with the highest birth rate has become the country with the lowest. On an international level, Portugal is now placed as the sixth ‘oldest’ country in the world.
“Being born in Portugal means being born into an old country,” demography specialist Maria João Valente Rosa told a recent conference on demographics and public policies.

Despite the fact that Portugal’s population increased by 1.7 million people between 1960 and 2010, its birth rate reached an all-time low last year, with only 89,841 newborns, the conference heard.

In 2011, the average age of the Portuguese people was 42, while in 1960 it was 28.

These stark truths, gleaned from statistics from Pordata, also showed that the number of children under the age of 15 is now lower than the number of elderly over the age of 65.

Portuguese women also work longer hours than in any other EU country and become mothers later, aged around 30. In 1986, the average age for becoming a mother was 24.

And at no point was anything discussed on how Portugal could reverse the situation.