1 million fewer children in Spain in 2023: Unicef

Unicef has warned Spain’s ageing population could cause serious social and economic problems. Photo: anulled/Flickr
In only nine years Spain could have one million fewer children under the age of 10 if the country’s falling birth rate and population exodus aren’t addressed, the UN body warns.

Spain’s population fell by 113,902 between 2012 and 2013, a negative trend which could account for 2.6 million fewer people in the next ten years if the situation doesn’t change.

The country’s young population could also decline by nearly one million in just a decade, meaning there would be 20.4 percent fewer children under ten than there are now in Spain.

Unicef presented the worrying findings in a report called Childhood in Spain 2014, published on Tuesday.

Representatives from the United Nations Children’s Fund have also warned Spain’s ageing population could cause serious social and economic problems that could in turn damage the pensions and healthcare systems.

Spain’s economic crisis is according to the UN body having a more severe effect on households with children, where unemployment rates among all family members has grown by a staggering 290 percent since 2007.

Having children in Spain is therefore becoming less affordable than previously, deterring many couples from bearing offspring or making them decide to put if off to an age when the mother’s fertility is not as high.

According to Spain’s National Statistics Institute, the average age of Spanish women having children in 2013 was 32.7.

Public spending on families and childhood in Spain is 1.4 percent of the GDP compared to the EU’s 2.2 percent average. 

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