In 2016, the number of live births registered in Catalonia amounted to 68,634, representing a decrease of 2.6% in relation to 2015, according to the provisional data of the Births Statistics. This reduction was general for the entire territory, except for in 14 counties.
Fertility in Catalonia remained stable in relation to the previous year, with an average number of 1.39 children per mother.
The average age at maternity continued to be delayed and stood at 32.0 years, while the mean age at first birth was 30.8 years. Women between the ages of 30 and 34 had the most children (96.2 births per 1000 women) and, for the second consecutive year, women between the ages of 35 and 39 (66.2‰) had more children than those of between the ages of 25 and 29 (62.1‰).
By nationality, of the 68,634 live births, 50,438 were born of a mother with Spanish nationality and 18,196 were born of a mother with foreign nationality which represents 26.5% of all live births. In relation to the previous year, babies born of a mother with foreign nationality increased (1.5%) – this had not happened since 2010– while those born of a mother with Spanish nationality decreased (−4.0%). .
In 2016, all the territorial areas, registered a drop in the number of live births, in relation to the definitive data for live births in 2015, led by L'Alt Pirineu i Aran (−6.4%), El Camp de Tarragona (−5.7%) and the Girona Counties (−5.4%).
The lowest birth rates were registered in L'Alt Pirineu and Aran (7.4‰) and in Les Terres de l'Ebre (8.2‰). By counties, El Gironès (11.4‰), El Solsonès (11.1‰) and El Vallès Occidental (9.8‰) registered the highest rates, while El Ripollès and El Pallars Jussà (5.7‰), and El Pallars Sobirà (6‰) had the lowest rates.
In relation to the number of children per woman, the Girona Counties, the Central Counties and Ponent were the areas of the Territorial Plan with the highest conjunctive fertility index (1.52, 1.52 and 1.49 children respectively), while L'Alt Pirineu and Aran (1.17 children) and the Metropolitan Area (1.34 children) had indexes lower than the average for Catalonia (1.39).
The Birth statistics provide information on the live births, deliveries and late foetal deaths of residents of Catalonia according to demographic, social and territorial characteristics (for the municipal, county, province levels and the areas of the Territorial Plan). Birth and mortality statistics conform a population's natural movement, providing for an estimate of the natural growth of the population as the difference between the number of births and the number of deaths.
The original source of the data are the statistical entries on the deliveries of women residing in Catalonia in the civil registries. Until 2011, the data presented refers to the registrations made in Catalonia of women who reside there. As of 2012, the data is reported annually in two phases: the provisional data, with deliveries and female residents registered with civil registries in Catalonia, and the definitive data, with the publication of the tables on the deliveries of all female residents, including those deliveries registered with civil registries in other autonomous communities.