Number of births in Spain plummets 40 percent in 10 years

New statistics on the number of births in Spain have revealed the exact extent at which the overall population of the country is decreasing.

Number of births in Spain plummets 40 percent in 10 years

The figures from the National Institute of Statistics showed that the number of babies born in Spain last year was 6.1 percent down on the previous year.

But the stand-out figure was that births in Spain have dropped by an eye-opening 40.7 percent over the last decade, according to the study titled The Natural Movement of the Population.

In 2018 there were 369,302 babies born in Spain, some 23,879 fewer than in 2017.

In the same year there were 426,053 deaths recorded in Spain, which was a slight rise (0.4 percent) on 2017.

Those figures meant the Spanish population had dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter.

In other words Spain has 56,262 fewer citizens than it did 12 months ago.

The drop in the overall birthrate is partly explained by the fact that there are few children per mother and there are fewer mothers of child-bearing age than in the past.

In 2018 the average number of children per mother was 1.25 – the lowest since 2002 – compared to 1.87 children per woman in France, where the birth rate is also dropping.

Life expectancy however has increased to 83.2 years.

In terms of the number of marriages in Spain there was also a drop  of 5.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.

READ MORE: Why I'll never adopt Spanish bedtimes for my children

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What names do foreign nationals give their babies in Switzerland?

Each year for more than three decades, the Federal Statistical Office has been publishing the first names of infants born in Switzerland the previous year. It seems that foreigners favour names that are typical of their national background.

What names do foreign nationals give their babies in Switzerland?
Foreigners give their babies names that reflect their nationality. Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

As The Local reported on Wednesday, the most popular names for newborn girls born in Switzerland in 2020 were Mia, Emma, and Mila.

For boys, Noah took the top spot, ahead of Liam and Matteo.

REVEALED: The most popular baby name in each Swiss canton

But what about the most popular names among various nationalities living in Switzerland?

The answers come from the same study.


The top name for boys of Italian parents is Giuseppe, followed by Antonio and Francesco. For girls, Maria is in the first place, Anna in the second, and Francesca in the third.


There are many Portuguese immigrants living in Switzerland and, like their Italian counterparts, they like to give their children traditional names: José, Carlos and Manuel for boys, and Maria, Ana, and Sandra for girls.


Spanish names are similar to those of Portuguese babies.

José, Juan and Jose are most popular boy names, while Maria, Ana and Laura are in the top three spots for the girls.


Most boys of Turkish descent are named Mehmet, Ali, and Mustafa. Among girls, Fatma, Ayse, and Elif dominate.


Arben, Vallon, and Bekim are top names for boys, and Fatime, Shquipe, and Merite for girls.


Bekim is in the first place for boys, followed by Muhamed and Fatmir. Among girls, Fatimr is in the lead, Sara in the second place, and Emine in the third.


Aleksandar, Dragan and Nicola take the first three spots. For the girls, Jelena, Maria and Snezana are at the top.

Can you give your baby any name you want?

Not in Switzerland, you can’t. It’s important to keep in mind that the cantonal registry offices, where new births must be announced, don’t have to accept very unusual names.

Several years ago, for instance, a Zurich court ruled that parents can’t name their infant daughter ‘J’.

In another case, a couple in the canton of Bern were ordered to change the name of their newborn son because their choice – Jessico – was considered too feminine. 

Several names have been forbidden in Switzerland, including Judas, Chanel, Paris and Mercedes.