Spain's population to fall

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 11, 2013 06:30 hrs

Madrid, March 11 (IANS) Spain faces a fall of around 10 percent in its population over the next 40 years, according to a forecast by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE).

It is going to cause severe problems for the country's social security and pensions system, concluded the prediction into the behaviour of population carried out by the Department of Population Studies at the INE, reported Xinhua.

Several factors are behind this, said Sixto Muriel de la Riva, assistant-director of the department.

Firstly, economic factors have put a brake on immigration to the country, as work is no longer so readily available in the country.

Factors such as falling birthrates and an aging population also have a massive bearing on the future fall in the current population of just over 47 million.

Regarding the birthrate, Spain is now seeing the consequences of the last economic crisis it went through in late 1980s and 1990s, which forced couples to reduce the number of children they had. It means now there are fewer women of childbearing age in Spain and "and consequently fewer children".

Muriel de la Riva also said: "There is a greater number of old people at the top of the pyramid and so even though we have longer life expectancy, there are more deaths."

"The level of dependence: which is the difference between the 'inactive' population, those who are not at an age to work because they are too old or too young, and the population that can work, will rise from current levels from 50 percent to around 100 percent in 40 years," said Muriel de la Riva.

"That means that for every person who can't work now, we have two people of working age and in 40 years we will have a relation one to one," the assistant-director told Xinhua.

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