Portugal currently has 10,347,892 residents, 214,286 less than in 2011, according to the 2021 censuses, released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
According to INE, in census terms, the only decade in which there was a decrease in population was between 1960 and 1970.
The resident population in 2021 is close to that registered in 2001, when 10,356,117 people resided in Portugal.
The population decrease recorded in the last decade (-2 percent) resulted from the negative natural balance (-250,066 people, provisional data), and the migratory balance, despite being positive, was not enough to reverse the fall in the population.
Preliminary data show that in Portugal there are 4,917,794 men (48 percent) and 5,430,098 women (52 percent).
Analysis by municipality has shown that territories located in the interior of the country have seen population decreases while the municipalities that have witnessed population growth are located predominantly on the coast, with a clear concentration around the country’s capital and in the Algarve region.
The Algarve (3.7 percent) and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (1.7 percent) are the only regions that have registered population growth, with the Alentejo being the region that has registered the largest decrease (-6.9 percent) followed by Autonomous Region of Madeira (-6.2 percent).
Over the past 10 years, of the 308 Portuguese municipalities, 257 registered population decreases and only 51 registered an increase. In the previous decade, 198 municipalities had seen population declines.
The preliminary results from the 2021 censuses, showed that around 50 percent of the population residing in Portugal was concentrated in just 31 municipalities, mostly located in the Metropolitan Areas of Lisbon and Porto.
According to INE, there are 4,156,017 private households and institutional households in Portugal, a growth of 2.7 percent compared to 2011. The number of households increased in all NUTS II Regions, with the exception of the Alentejo region, where the value decreased by 3.6 percent.
As a result of the growth in the number of households, together with the decrease in population registered, there is a reduction in the average size of households, which in 2021 is 2.5 people, a figure that decreased by 0.1 compared to 2011, which stood at 2.6 persons/household.
The data also show that Portugal registered a slight increase in the number of buildings and accommodation for housing, although at a much lower rate than in previous decades, according to INE.
The 2021 Census collection phase took place between 5 April and 31 May and the data refer to the date of the census, on 19 April.