A "culture of seasonal employment" and the "fragility" of conciliation policies are causing the low birth rate in Spain, according to Antonio Izquierdo, an expert in demography and head of Sociology at the University of A Coruña. In the first half of this year 170,074 babies were born in this country, which was 6.2 percent lower than in the same period last year and the lowest figure since 1941, when records began to be kept.
"There is nothing different about this trend, which we have been following for many years, and it is generalised in the EU," says Izquierdo, although he stresses that fecundity in lowest in southern European countries such as Spain.
"The economy determines demography, not the other way round," he says, and points out that countries in northern Europe have an average of "half a child more than we do", to demonstrate the effect of the labour market on people's decision to have children. "Decent salaries and job stability would increase the birth rate," says this expert, who believes "fragile conciliation policies" in Spain also have a negative effect on the number of children born.