For a country that was already suffering from a low birth rate Portugal is now on track for the worst year ‘in living memory’ for the appearance of new life. If the first three months have been anything to go by, experts put the number of babies arriving in 2021 at less than 80,000. Says demographer Maria João Valente Rosa, ‘not even during the financial crisis/ troika years did birth rates fall this low’. Numbers reflect the fact that babies born in 2021 will have been conceived during the pandemic – a time marked by an uncertainty that “hasn’t ended yet”, she explained. In other words, this fall in the number of couples deciding to start or add to a family is expected to continue.