Spanish birthrate ‘catastrophically low’
March 2, 2017 10 comments
News that the Spanish birthrate was overtaken by the number of deaths for the first time in 2015 has prompted the government to appoint a special demographic commissioner.
Edelmira Barreira Diz is a senator from the conservative Partido Popular de Galicia (People’s Party of Galicia). She has now been given the role of Comisionada para el Reto Demográfico (Commissioner for the Demographic Challenge) as Spain struggles with one of the lowest birthrates in the developed world.
On average Spanish woman aged 18-49 had just 1.3 children in 2015, compared to an EU average of 1.58. Births in the Mediterranean nation have fallen by a startling 18 per cent since 2008. Meanwhile, the number of couples with no children at all has almost tripled, to 4.4 million according the social think tank Funcas.
The Education Ministry, meanwhile, is concerned that the country’s plunging birthrate will erode the country’s economy and welfare state.
Senator Barreira Diz will work with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Roy to formulate a national strategy to encourage Spaniards to have more children.
Commentators are divided on reasons for the issue. While some blame a culture of long working hours, others point to the possible influence of the country’s stringent Ley Integral contra la Violencia de Género (Integrated Law against Gender Violence). This controversial legislation, originally introduced in 2003, created a new category of domestic violence called ‘gender violence’, which could only be committed by men against women. Any accusation by a woman results in automatic imprisonment of the man even in the absence of evidence and women who make claims receive a range of economic benefits.
Photo by Steve and Sara Emry under a Creative Commons licence
March 2, 2017
Categories: Family Life