Portugal has lost more than a million children and young people in the last 50 years

Data revealed by Pordata marks Universal Children's Rights Day, which is celebrated today

Portugal has lost more than a million children and young people in the last 50 years and has become the second oldest European country, highlights Pordata, whose demographic portrait shows that almost 5% of the 1,3 million young people are foreigners.

Pordata, the statistical database of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, decided to mark Universal Children's Rights Day, which is celebrated today, with the compilation of a series of information that helps to create a demographic portrait of young people.

From the outset, it is possible to verify that “in the last 50 years, Portugal has lost more than one million children and young people”, a group that today represents 12,8% of the total population.

According to Pordata, and based on data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), in 2022, 1,3 million children and young people up to the age of 15 lived in Portugal, of which 51% were male and 49% were female. .

“The number of children and young people decreased by almost half in 50 years (-46%): until the beginning of the 1980s, children and young people made up at least a quarter of the population and, in 2022, they represented 12,8%. The decrease was recorded in all age groups, with emphasis on children between 5 and 9 years old (-50%)”, says Pordata.

This makes Portugal “the second country in the European Union with the lowest proportion of children and young people in its population”, only behind Italy, which occupies the top of the table.

“According to INE projections, the trend is for the young population in Portugal to decrease from 1,3 million in 2022 to 1,1 million in 2050 and to 1 million by 2080”, he adds.

On the other hand, “more than 65 thousand children and young people in Portugal have foreign nationality, representing 4,9% of the total population under 15 years of age”, with 18% of these children having already been born in Portugal.

Among the 65 thousand foreign children, Brazilian (45%), Angolan (8%) and Chinese (4%) nationalities stand out, with an equal preponderance among the approximately 12 thousand children born in Portugal and whose distribution by nationality is made with 29% Brazilian, 15% Chinese, 9% Angolan, 6% Cape Verdean and 5% Ukrainian.

With regard to the family context of the 1,3 million children and young people, Pordata reveals that the majority (81%) lived in families made up of a couple, while 19%, that is, more than 254 thousand, lived in a single-parent family, especially with the mother (89%).

“Regarding schooling, the portrait shows that Portugal stands out as the EU country with the highest proportion of children in pre-school with 30 or more hours per week, but also that the coverage rate of social childcare responses, compared to the number of target population, does not reach half of the children”, points out Pordata.

On the other hand, 89% of children between 3 and compulsory school age (6 years) attended pre-school education, a figure slightly above the European average (88%).

The portrait made by Pordata was also to verify how many children in Portugal live in poverty, having found that in 2021, the most recent year with available statistical data, there were 266 thousand poor children and young people, of which 76 thousand were under 6 years old .

The impact of this poverty is reflected in health, with 6,6% of poor families admitting that their children were unable to access medical care, a proportion that rises to 17,7% when dental care is involved.

According to Pordata, Portugal is the country in Europe with the highest proportion of poor children without access to oral health care.