Births in Catalonia fall almost 6% in 2020, 20% in December alone
Marc and Júlia remain most popular names for newborns
The number of births in Catalonia in 2020 fell 5.9% compared to the previous year.
A total of 57,889 live births were registered, according to provisional data from Idescat, the Statistical Institute of Catalonia, published on Monday.
December 2020, which fell nine months on from the outbreak of the pandemic in Catalonia, saw a 20.1% year-on-year drop in the number of births: 4,000 exactly compared to 5,004 in December 2019.
The number of births has been falling steadily since 2008, when a peak of 89,024 births were recorded, but the trend accelerated in 2020 due to the health emergency.
The fertility rate was 1.2 births per woman, one of the lowest in the European Union, which in 2019 was 1.53 children per woman, according to Eurostat.
On average, women in Catalonia have their first child at an age of 31.4 years, two years older than the EU average of 29.4 years in 2019.
Babies born to non-Spanish nationals
For the first time since 2016, the number of babies born to women who aren't Spanish passport holders also declined.
Of the 57,889 live births, 18,985 were born to foreign mothers, 832 fewer than the previous year, a percentage decrease of 4.2%. This marks a change from the upward trend seen since 2016, which followed a decline between 2009 and 2015, during the financial crisis.
Women of foreign nationality living in Catalonia have more children, 1.40 children on average, than Spanish nationals, who have an average of 1.10. In 2020, babies of foreign mothers accounted for almost a third of all live births (32.8%), a percentage very similar to the previous year.
The most common nationalities (excluding Spanish) of mothers of newborns were Moroccan (5,529 babies), Romanian (1,185), Pakistani (1,073), Honduran (929), Colombian (645), Italian (588) and Chinese (548).
Marc and Júlia remain top baby names
Marc (479) remains the most popular baby name in Catalonia, as has been the case every year since 1997.
Júlia (467) is, for the fourth consecutive year, the most popular girls' name, followed by Emma (443), Martina (441) and Mia (381), which moves above Lucía (380) for the first time.
For the boys, Marc was followed by Jan (451), which was the fourth most popular the previous year, Pol (433), Nil (432) and Leo (422).