Foreigners boost births to highest rate since 1990
One in every five babies born in 2007 was to immigrants, says report.4 July 2008
MADRID - An unprecedented influx of immigrants in Spain helped boost the birth rate to its highest level since 1990, according to figures released on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).
According to INE, one in every five births last year was to foreign mothers, raising the average amount of children per woman to 1.39 versus 1.38 in 2006.
Margarita Delgado, a population expert at CSIC, the nation's leading science agency, said that the rise in Spain's birth rate was welcome news but more had to be done.
"This is a slight rise in our birth rate but it is still far behind Nordic countries, where there is a social welfare state that offers much more economic aid to families than in Spain," she said.
Lower birth rates and better healthcare have fuelled a sharp rise in the elderly population. In 1998, the over-65 age group accounted for 16 percent of the total population, versus six percent in 1950.
There were almost 93,000 births to foreign residents in 2007, a rise of 16.4 percent. Moroccan women gave birth to the most babies in 2007 - just over 20,000 - of all the foreign groups living in Spain.
[El Pais / Expatica]