Birth rate in Catalonia sees another drop in 2018

Average number of children per woman is lowest on record since 2001

Children playing at a Lleida province pre-school in 2017 (by Estela Busoms)
Children playing at a Lleida province pre-school in 2017 (by Estela Busoms) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 30, 2019 05:16 PM

Birth rate in Catalonia saw yet another drop in 2018. According to Idescat, Catalonia’s statistical institute, the figures decreased by 5.4% and it was found that women now have their first child later in life, at around 31 years old.

In 2018 there were 8.3 births recorded per 1,000 residents in Catalonia, and the average number of children for women who live in Catalonia is 1.3 - down from 2017’s 1.36 and the lowest figures on record since 2001. This is also significantly below the European 2017 average of just under 1.6. 

Furthermore, the birth rate drop is concentrated among women who are Spanish nationals, as foreign-born residents still tend to have more children them: an average of 1.59 children versus 1.19 per woman. 

In Catalonia, the most common age ranges to give birth are 30-34 followed by 35-39, while in Europe the second most common age range is 25-29. 

In the rest of Europe the mean age of women at the birth of their first child is generally roughly similar to Catalonia’s 31, or lower, particularly in Eastern Europe, with notable exceptions being Ireland and Spain as a whole at 32.1 according to Eurostat’s 2017 statistics. 

In 2017, in France the mean age of women was 30.6, in the United Kingdom it was 30.5, while in Romania it was 27.9 and in Bulgaria it was 27.6. 

The report on Catalonia’s birth rate also revealed that the most common baby names in 2018 were Marc for boys and Júlia for girls.