Keys to avoid falling birth rates

Thebirth in Spain, it has progressively declined in recent years, reaching alarmingly low figures. Now, on the occasion of the V Annual Family Lesson organized by The Family Watch, an analysis of the family has been made and proposals have been made to strengthen it, among which family stability stands out as the key to improving the birth rate.

The decrease in the birth rate in Spain

The latest demographic data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reflect a decrease in the number of births that occurs in parallel with a progressive aging of the population. Thus, given the small number of births, experts indicate that if the birth rate continues to decline, there will be no generational change or adults to support the system.


Thus, the low birth rate of Spain is reflected in the latest data collected by the INE that indicate a drop in births for the fifth consecutive year, with only 425,390 new children, 6.4 percent less than the previous year. A decline that, since 2008, already exceeds 18 percent. Thus, the fact that Spain has a fertility rate lower than 2.1 per woman (considered replacement fertility) means that a pyramid of stable population or a perpetuation of the family is not guaranteed.

The current situation of the family in the world

"The family is the fundamental element of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members" (Resolution of the Human Rights Council). This definition highlights the importance of the family as a socializing element, an importance that should make parents and children think about the current situation of the family in the world:


1. Child poverty. Currently, half of the world's poor are children. This is a reality that has been present in families for a long time. However, it is now, with the economic crisis, when child poverty has worsened until reaching truly alarming figures that are still, it is predicted, have not reached the highest possible levels.

2. Youth unemployment. Young people currently have significant problems to integrate into society. Thus, youth unemployment (40% of the world's unemployed are young) leads many of them to give up looking for work or to work in inadequate conditions. This, in addition to being a problem for the young people and their parents, is an important barrier for the consolidation of new families that see how, becoming independent, having a house or having children is a distant goal.


3. Violence in the family environment. The worsening of family ties, often broken or damaged by various problems, has now led to a serious problem present in some families: violence. Every day there is an increase in the number of people who suffer violence in the family, fathers, mothers and children who, instead of joining bonds, are increasingly placing more barriers to family stability.

4. Abandonment of the elderly. The family, responsible not only for children, but also for the elderly, has progressively excluded the oldest members of society. Not feeling necessary, coupled with that abandonment by family members, many of whom do not care for the elderly, has led many elderly to take care of themselves and live in a loneliness equal or more harmful than many diseases.

10 proposals to strengthen the family

In this situation, in the V Annual Family Lesson organized by The Family Watch, a series of proposals have been prepared to strengthen the family included in the Resolution of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, applicable to all member states:

1. Define the content of the family perspective.

2. Give the family its importance in the development agenda.

3. Consider the relationship between family and sustainable development.

4. Define the indicators that allow measuring the family impact of a standard through the corresponding report.

5. Promote the empowerment of families through public aid policies.

6. Recommend measures that avoid the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

7. Promote policies that favor the reconciliation of work and family, as well as the co-responsibility of both parents.

8. Invest in programs that facilitate intergenerational relationships to the family.

9. Design strategies that help prevent intrafamily violence.

10. Establish concerts with civil society organizations, the private sector and academic institutions to investigate what really works.

Patricia Núñez de Arenas

Video: Which Countries Have Shrinking Populations?


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