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Portugal second country with fewest children in Europe

Children and youngsters up to 15 only represent 12.8% of Portugal’s population

Portugal has lost more than one million children and young people in the last 50 years, having become the European country with the second lowest percentage of children and youngsters.

So says Pordata, the statistical database of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, which decided to mark World Children’s Day, celebrated this Monday (November 20), by compiling a series of information on the country’s demographic situation.

While children and youngsters aged up to 15 used to account for around one quarter of Portugal’s population at the start of the 1980s, today they represent just 12.8% of the population.

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), there were 1.3 million children and young people in Portugal up to 15 years old in 2022, of which 51% were male and 49% were female. The statistics also show that almost 5% of the 1.3 million young people are foreigners.

“The decrease occurred in all age groups, with the highlight being the group of children between five and nine years old (-50%),” says Pordata.

This makes Portugal “the second country in the European Union with the lowest proportion of children and young people in its population,” only behind Italy, which tops the table.

“According to INE projections, the trend is for the young population in Portugal to decrease from 1.3 million in 2022 to 1.1 million in 2050 and to 1 million by 2080,” it adds.

On the other hand, “more than 65,000 children and young people in Portugal have foreign nationality, representing 4.9% of the total population under 15,” with 18% of these children being born in Portugal.

Among the 65,000 foreign children, most are Brazilian (45%), Angolan (8%), and Chinese (4%). These same nationalities also stand out when it comes to children with foreign parents born in Portugal, with 29% being Brazilian, 15% Chinese, 9% Angolan, 6% Cape Verdean, and 5% Ukrainian.

Pordata also revealed there were 266,000 poor children and young people in Portugal in 2021 (the last year for which there is data), of which 76,000 were under 6 years old.

The statistics also show that 6.6% of poor families could not access medical care for their children, a percentage that reaches 17.7% when it comes to dental care.

In fact, the data shows that Portugal is the European country with the highest proportion of poor children without access to oral health care.

By Michael Bruxo

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