A study published by INE shows that when a crisis is imminent and happening, Portugal’s fertility rate will drop. This is the subprime mortgage and financial crisis, this is the debt crisis and bankruptcy. The pandemic has caused severe damage and may continue to adversely affect fertility.
The crises that have plagued the Portuguese economy in recent decades have suppressed fertility and birth rates. The Covid-19 pandemic seems to be no exception. The data shows and confirms some new research revealed by the National Bureau of Statistics (INE).
A study by economist Jorge Bravo concluded that whenever a crisis is approaching and bad news begins to accumulate, the number of babies will be a few months or a few months before the worst moment of the economic cycle. Declining in the last quarter (and therefore a high-level indicator), INE was released yesterday, according to 2019 Annual Fertility Survey.
The same study also mentioned that there is an important “immediate causality”, that is, when people are in a favorable economic contemporaneous period, the fertility rate and the number of babies born will increase. On the contrary, when the economy is depressed, the fertility rate will drop.
INE explained that the survey still does not cover what happened during the pandemic because “it happened between September 2019 and February 2020”.
However, some experts do not rule out that the new coronavirus and its accompanying historical crisis have had an important impact on the fertility rate.
As mentioned earlier, the covid-19 pandemic has no exception to the suppression of the number of babies born.
Another work believes that this is because Portugal and the world are facing health, economic and social crises, and the uncertainty it still generates, this time it is about deciding on the second child at the door or the pandemic is going on.
This article was also approved by INE and signed by Rita Brazão Freitas, Andreia Maciel and Maria Filomena Mendes.
“Therefore, in the context of greater restrictions and economic uncertainty, the Portuguese may not be able to plan future projects with a higher level of safety, so they were once idealized second children.”
Moreover, the three researchers concluded that “it is important to mention that, in some cases, the current pandemic (covid-19) constitutes another factor that exacerbates this uncertainty.”
Only now beginning to feel the pandemic birth shock
According to a survey conducted by Dinheiro Vivo, the number of babies at the beginning of this year appears to have dropped significantly, reflecting the severe real and economic shocks in March, April and May last year.
In other words, after nine months, the number of births will be clear at a glance. These data show that, compared with the average level of last year (about 7,000), start-ups in 2021 will reduce an average of 1,000 babies per month. This is a sudden drop, exceeding 14%.
Recall that the pandemic and the first major ban on birth were announced in March last year, so the decision to not have children due to this crisis will often be fully reflected from January 2021 (including the number of births). In other words, after nine months, the normal pregnancy time of human beings.