The number of marriages in 2020 was recorded at 18,902, 14,370 fewer than in the previous year, representing a decrease of 43.2 percent, according to the INE, which attributed the reduction to measures enacted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the last decade, the number of marriages has always been above 30,000 and since records began there has never been such a low value,” said the INE, which attributed this unprecedented number to the “declaration of the first state of emergency in the country on 18 March, 2020, and its pandemic containment measures.”

Meanwhile, the number of births in 2020 has also decreased compared to 2019 and the number of deaths in Portugal has increased, making the negative natural balance worsen for the 12th consecutive year.

The INE revealed that in 2020 84,426 children were born to mothers living in Portugal, 2,153 fewer children than in 2019, which meant a reduction of 2.5 percent. As for mortality, 123,358 residents died in 2020, 11,565 more than in the previous year, which means an increase of 10.3 percent. This translates into a “strong worsening of the natural balance” (the difference between the two), which went from -25,214 to -38,932.