AGEING POPULATION AS BIRTH RATE DECLINES
The birth rate in the Valencia region in 2013 fell by 7.1% in the last year, with 3,393 births less than during 2012, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE) in their recent study on the natural movement of population and basic demographic indicators.
The rate of decline is slightly above the national average, which stands at 6.4%. Thus, while in 2013 there were a total of 44,181 births in 2012 the figure was 47,574. Two years earlier, in 2010, the number of newborns was 51,684.
The other significant figure to fall below the national average was that of deaths. Whilst births fell by 7.1%, deaths in Valencia also fell by 4.3%, a full percentage point below the national average of 3.3%. The death toll was recorded as 40,501, showing a natural population growth of 3,680 people. Thus, the Region now becomes the fifth fastest growing in the country, behind Madrid (22,977), Andalucia (15,666), Catalonia (11,010) and Murcia (6,007).
In 2013, throughout the whole of Spain, births dropped for the fifth consecutive year, with only 425,390 new births, 6.4% lower than the previous year and continuing the downward trend, which since 2008 now exceeds 18%, reflecting the progressively aging population.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), a broad view of the demographic future of the country shows a decline in the number of births, fewer children per woman, an increase in the average age at which women have their first child and the lowest number of women of childbearing age.
As such, recent data is not encouraging and shows that the natural growth of the population, ie, the difference between births and deaths in 2013, fell by 30.7% to 36,181 people, the lowest recorded figure since the year 2000.
Despite this data, the number of deaths fell by 3.3%, the infant mortality rate stood for the first time below 3 children per thousand (2.8) and life expectancy is the highest ever with 82.8 years (80 years for men and 85.6 for women).
According to the INE the decline in births is due to lower fertility, ie the decrease in the number of children per woman, which in 2013 stood at 1.26 (1.32 in 2012).
The demographic future is a gradual increase in the average age of the population so perhaps it is now time to stop criticizing the indicators and exploring the benefits of an aging population.
Alternatively the only way to avoid it in the long term is to have far more children and die young. We have tried hard to escape from this way of life and, now that we have, we should be looking toward the benefits.
But it might be worth remembering that not all people aged 16 to 64 are working and pay income tax, indeed far from it, particularly here in Spain However, an increasing number of older people are working, and many of the others do not require pensions or other welfare. Let’s not forget either that children are also dependants and in many cases cost the state system rather more.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44089/
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