Portuguese population shrinking

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 15-06-2019 11:00:00 · 17 Comments
Portuguese population shrinking

The resident population in Portugal is continues to fall, but at a slower rate and last year the estimated figure was 10,276,617 people

The Portuguese National Statistics Institute (INE) said the slow-down in 2018 was because of more migration (from 4,886 people in 2017 to 11,570 in 2018), while the natural balance worsened from -23,432 people in 2017 to -25,980 in 2018).

The INE figures showed that the Portuguese population is also getting older as the population under 15 fell to 1.407.566 (16,330 fewer) and the population aged 65 or over increased to 2,244,225 people (30,951 more).

The oldest age group (85 or over) increased to 310,274 (another 12,736), the figures released today show.


Whilst the total population projections are a concern I was surprised to see no comment on the shorter term impact on the size of the available working population. In round numbers the population aged 45-65 is a little over 3 million. They will largely move into retirement in the next 20 years to be replaced by those currently under 20 years old, circa 2 million. That is a fall of i million potential workers/taxpayers (circa 15 %of the currently available working population) as well as a substantial shift in the dependency ratio. This is essentially unavoidable and the impact of this on the Portuguese economy and society is being substantially ignored.

by John Galpin from UK on 06-10-2019 07:30:00

We hope that Portugal will establish a mass naturalization law very soon.

by Rico from Açores on 04-10-2019 12:11:00

Thank you for sharing information about Portugal’s demographics.

by Tori from Other on 03-10-2019 12:22:00

As a results of failing to attract immigrants to stay and live in Portugal! Portugal is desperately paying emigrants a one time payment up to 6500 Euros to return haha! but how emigrants will return back to Portugal if they are earning 6500 Euros per month in other countries!

Awkward action.




by Ramos from Other on 07-09-2019 04:23:00

Richard from Other on 31-08-2019 01:01:00
You are absolutely right, however you have forgotten to mention that Portugal has the lowest fertility rate/birth rate in the world! with a value of 0.4! Also Portugal is among the top 10 countries in the world whom has higher females ratio compared to males! Portugal 54% Females against 46% males according to United Nation's statistics.. These statistics shows that Portugal is going to lose more than half of its population in the next 30 years! and still the Portuguese government is not taking any serious action!! Thanks to the golden visa program which is saving the Portuguese ass.. but foreigner investors now a days knows that other counties are cheaper and better for their investment's future such as the USA, Malta, Canadian, Greece, Spain, Australia and Caribbean investors programs.. Portugal should take further better options to attract the current immigrants living in the country.

by Cape Verde from Porto on 05-09-2019 11:28:00

The population of Portugal will drop way more below the assumed figures. For many reasons:
1. Unorganized procedures
2. Very high percentage of aging people
3. Very low salaries
4. High emigration rates among Portuguese youth
5. Very poor educational system
6. Portuguese people are very disrespectful with immigrants and foreigners
7. Intermediates and cronyism
8. Unclear laws
9. High poverty rate
10. Uneducated people
11. Discrimination in work against foreigners
12. Very few jobs
13. Awkwardness, backwardness and nescience among the Portuguese society
There isn't any motivation for immigrants to come to Portugal and there isn't any future for Portuguese youth to stay in Portugal. In other words, Portugal is not a catch for anybody.

by Richard from Other on 31-08-2019 01:01:00

Welcome to Indian Portuguese in Europe!

by Maharati Sing from Algarve on 30-08-2019 12:00:00

No body wants to live in Portugal. Even the people from Portuguese speaking countries prefers to live in other EU countries. Most of the Brazilians immigrates to Germany, Sweden and Belgium. There isn't anything special in Portugal, very few jobs and very low salaries which isn't even enough for living expense. Also the majority of tourists are Europeans and come once to Portugal and doesn't come back afterwards. The young Portuguese generation are immigrating to other countries in search for better life's and only the old Portuguese people stays in Portugal living on governmental support.

by Brasileiro from USA on 29-08-2019 11:57:00

The Portuguese Parliament should reduce the legal residence duration to 3 or 4 years for foreigners to apply for Portuguese citizenship. This should also include fast processing time for citizenship applications. Portugal should attract immigrants and not make then run away!

by João from Porto on 22-08-2019 06:30:00

Other statistics show that since 1990 about 100000 people were leaving Portugal each year , and there appears to have been no census for decades , so the population statistics are probably not correct , and the real figure is about 2 -3 million less .

by Paul R from Lisbon on 22-08-2019 01:43:00

According to SEF, the total number of foreigners whom are living in Portugal up to the year 2019 are 480,000 and even this number is still considered low. Therefore, in order to combat the shrinkage population in Portugal the best solution would be that "the Portuguese government should give automatic right of citizenship to all the foreign nationals whom are currently living legally in Portugal regardless of the duration of residence as long as they are currently with a legal status before the date of publishing such a law." This would be the best action which could be taken to minimize the low population growth rate. Also this kind of strategies has been done before in several countries around the world including Germany, UK, Brazil and Argentina.

by Pedro from Lisbon on 19-08-2019 09:45:00

I was born in Portugal and my parents migrated to Australia when I was 6 months old. I have since been back to Portugal several times during my childhood and as an adult with my own family 3 times in the last 15 years. Most recently , we were there last year and found it disgraceful how my beautiful country has been overtaken by English. I went to Portugal to expose my kids to Portuguese language and culture, if I wanted them to speak English I would have holidayed elsewhere . Although English is an essential language, it is not everything.
Portugal has become too tourist obessed and lost its beautiful charm it had. I am Portuguese, and I love my country, but there is too many self absorbed bodies that govern Portugal and this why so many have had to leave ..there is no long term future for most younger generations. What was once a Rich country with so much to offer , many have had to leave their homeland because it is so uneconomically unstable .

by VCMFC from Other on 25-06-2019 04:40:00

I'm Australian and my wife is Portuguese. My prediction is the English language will be the main communication between people within the next 10 years all over the lower regions of Portugal. As I work and travel, it becomes clear the English language is spoken in most towns. However the country regions of Portugal will not be forced to use the English Language. Before I left Australia 2.5years ago, my spent 14 months learning the Portuguese Language but I was insulted when local resident asked me to speak English only.

We need to read, speak the Portuguese Language as inner country of Portugal does not understand the English language.

When my wife and I go out to do the shopping or to restaurants we only speak and read Portuguese.

But I cannot see the population decreasing and been overtaken my the English.

by Colin from Algarve on 16-06-2019 07:27:00

I no longer live in Lisbon. I am a Portuguese emigrant, I came to France in 2017 because I spent almost one year unemployed, living with an abusive father, and I had no choice. I got a job offer here and I moved with my partner. I would love to come back, but its hard to find a job in Portugal, harder to even become a fixated employee, and I'd be working my ass off to barely pay overexpensive rent. I want to live, not barely survive. I love my country, but this economy is hell.

by Ines from Lisbon on 16-06-2019 04:46:00

How does the expat community factor into the statistics?

by Steve Rominger from USA on 16-06-2019 12:50:00

Soon there will be more Brits than Portuguese living here.

by Joao Aligotti from Algarve on 16-06-2019 12:09:00

" The resident population in Portugal is continues to fall” correct the phrase to:
"The resident population in Portugal continues to fall"

by Rui Silva from Porto on 16-06-2019 08:34:00
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