The number of live births registered in Catalonia in 2017 stood at 66,495, according to the Birth Statistics provisional data, a figure which represents a decrease of 3.6% in comparison with the definitive data for 2016.
In 2017, the mean age of mothers at first birth was 31. This mean age has increased by almost two years over the course of the last decade. By areas of the Territorial Plan, motherhood occurred later in the Metropolitan Area (31.3 being the mean age of mothers at first birth), while it took place earlier in the areas of Ponent and the Girona Counties (30 years being the mean age of mothers at first birth).
The fertility indicator decreased in relation to the previous year (falling from 1.39 children per woman to 1.36), as did the crude birth rate, which stood at 8.8 live births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to 9.2 in 2016. The reduction in the birth rate was limited to mothers of Spanish nationality (-5.3%), as that of foreign mothers, who accounted for 27.8% of the total, increased by 1.2%.
The fertility of foreign women residing in Catalonia was higher than that of women of Spanish nationality, as shown by the short-term fertility indicator, which stood at 1.62 and 1.25 children per woman respectively.
With regard to deliveries, 47,192 natural deliveries (72.7%) and 18,177 caesarean deliveries (27.8%) were recorded in 2017. Risk related to a caesarean delivery was closely associated with age: only 1 in 5 deliveries were caesarean among women under 25 years of age and 1 in 4 among women between 25 to 34, whereas 1 in 3 deliveries were caesarean among women over 35.
As for births from the territorial standpoint, the decrease in the number of live births was fairly widespread in the 41 counties and Aran and only in 9 counties was the number of live births in 2017 higher than in 2016 (if we compare the provisional data from 2017 with the definitive data for 2016). The counties with the highest increases were El Pallars Sobirà, El Ripollès and El Pla d’Urgell.
The highest crude birth rates were recorded in El Solsonès (11.2 live births per 1,000 inhabitants), El Gironès (10.9) and El Pla de l’Estany (10), while the lowest rates were recorded in the counties of La Terra Alta and El Priorat, with below 6 live births per 1,000 inhabitants.
The Birth statistics provide information on live births, deliveries and late foetal deaths for people residing in Catalonia, in accordance with demographic and social characteristics. The statistics are geographically disaggregated by municipality, county, areas in the Territorial Plan, provinces and Catalonia.
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.