Weddings increase by 63% and the number of children remains at 1.19

A moment during a wedding celebration in Granada in May 2021. / RAMON L. PEREZ

Spanish women become mothers for the first time at 33 years old while foreigners do so at 30.7 years old


Marriages in 2021 increased by 63% compared to 2020, a year in which many weddings had to be postponed first due to confinement and then due to the prohibitions derived from the pandemic, especially in terms of capacity. In total, 147,823 marriages were registered (3.4% of same-sex couples) and the average age was reduced in both men (39.5 years) and women (36.7 years). This is reflected in the report on the Natural Movement of the Population and Basic Demographic Indicators for the year 2021 published today by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

In addition, during 2021, 336,811 births were registered in Spain, a decrease of 1.3% compared to the previous year (4,504 fewer births). Thus, the downward trend of the last decade continues, only interrupted in 2014. Since 2011 the figure has fallen by 28.6%. By months, a more pronounced drop in births is observed in the first two of the year, which reflects the decrease in pregnancies produced during confinement, which began in mid-March 2020. The average number of children per woman stood at 1 .19 in 2021, a value similar to that registered in 2020. By nationality, the average number of children per woman increased three hundredths among Spanish mothers (up to 1.16). On the contrary, it fell eight hundredths among foreigners (up to 1.38).

A fact that reflects the delay in motherhood is that the number of births to mothers aged 40 or over has grown by 38% in 10 years

The average age at motherhood stood at 32.6 years in 2021, three tenths more than the previous year. In recent years it has been observed that the decrease in the number of births is accompanied by a delay in the age of childbearing. By nationality, the average age at maternity of Spanish mothers increased two tenths and reached, for the first time, 33 years. For its part, that of foreign women rose four tenths, standing at 30.7 years

Another indicator that reflects the delay in motherhood is the number of births to mothers aged 40 or over, which has grown by 38% in 10 years. While in 2011 5.5% of births were to mothers aged 40 or over, in 2021 that percentage rose to 10.7%.

Fewer deaths

On the other hand, during 2021, 450,687 people died in Spain, 8.7% less than in 2020. By age and sex, the greatest decreases were observed in the group aged 80 to 84, both in men (with a decrease of 12 .1% compared to 2020), as in women (–15.0%). It should be remembered that in 2020 the covid was especially primed in those over 80 years of age.

The decrease in mortality caused life expectancy at birth to increase by 0.73 years in 2021, to 83.06 years. By sex, the increase was greater in women (85.83), than in men (80.24). According to current mortality conditions, a person who reached the age of 65 in 2021 would expect to live, on average, 19.03 more years if he is a man and 23.07 more if he is a woman.

The natural growth of the resident population in Spain (that is, the difference between births and deaths), was negative in 113,023 people in 2021.

Life expectancy at birth reached the highest values ​​in 2021 in Comunidad de Madrid (84.6 years), Comunidad Foral de Navarra (84.3) and Castilla y León (83.9). On the contrary, the lowest values ​​were found in the autonomous cities of Ceuta (78.2) and Melilla (79.4 years) and in Andalusia (81.4).

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