Portugal has lost 196,000 people in the past ten years, and is rapidly moving towards a serious demographic crisis, with projections indicating between 7 to 8 million Portuguese within 30 years. The survey conducted by the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation (FFMS) shows that it was immigrants who were able to mitigate the decline, with more entries and children. The good news is that the number of migrants has decreased and some are returning.
This is a picture of migrations in Portugal drawn by Pordata, the foundation’s database, to celebrate World Migrants Day, Sunday.
The natural balance of the Portuguese population – the ratio between deaths and births – has been negative since 2009, and reached an all-time low in 2021 (see table). The immigration balance was also negative between 2011 and 2016, the year in which re-entries saw more exits. But only in 2019 and 2020 were they able to compensate for the negative natural balances.
Last year, the population balance was negative again, despite the entry of 51,000 immigrants, twice the number of new immigrants. But 124.8 thousand people died, 45.2 thousand more people were born,
The entry of foreign residents into Portugal also contributed to the fact that birth rates did not fall, as they arrived in a country of childbearing age. In 2021, 70% were between the ages of 20 and 59, and 25% were in their 20s. Of the 79,582 children born that year, 13.6% had a foreign mother, when these communities account for 7% of the resident population.
The Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) registers 698,997 foreigners in the country in 2021.
The weight of the active population and its contribution to the birth rate is more pronounced among immigrants, but in a negative way. Among the Portuguese who left last year, 93% were between the ages of 20 and 59, and 42% were between the ages of 20 and 29. In other words, they are also potential parents leaving the country.
Citizenship applications doubled
Another consequence of migration is the flight of eligible persons, outnumbering the general population (see table). In 2021, 20% of the resident population aged 15 and over had a higher education, which rose to 34% among immigrants.
The good news is that there are payouts. Most of the entries (52%) were natives of Portugal. These citizens appear in the designation “immigrants,” a concept from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) to designate domestic movements, regardless of nationality. To which must be added the 25% of foreigners with Portuguese nationality who have returned to the country.
347,000 foreigners have become Portuguese in the last ten years, a number that has doubled in 2021 (54,537) compared to 2011 (25,016). We are talking about cases where the citizen does not have a direct relationship with Portugal, a nationality known as “derived”. The largest share is for foreigners who have a residence permit in the country for at least 5 years (Deadline dropped in 2018), which shows those who married a Portuguese, children of immigrants, etc., for DN Ministry of Justice
Another way to get a Portuguese identity card is “attribution” and it is called “original nationality”. They include, for example, children of the Portuguese born abroad. According to the Ministry of Justice, 138,874 applications for citizenship were granted last year.
In 2020, Portugal ranked fourth among the 27 EU countries to grant citizenship, almost twice the EU average of 27 (163 per 100,000 inhabitants). At the top of the ranking are Sweden, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. For the first time in 10 years, more people abroad have been granted Portuguese citizenship than those living in Portugal, from 2,000 (2011) to 30,000 (2021).
Bordata’s photo highlights: “Naturalization is the main method of obtaining citizenship: for those who live in Portugal, the reason is the fact that they have lived there for at least five years (61%); for those who live abroad, it is the descendants of Sephardic Jews (77%).
Brazilian (32%) and Cape Verdean (12%) nationalities are the most important among the population who acquired Portuguese citizenship in 2021. Among non-residents, Israeli citizenship (65%) stands out.
According to INE, last year 542,165 citizens of foreign nationality lived in Portugal. It represents an increase of 148 thousand compared to 2011, which practically corresponds to the population of Lisbon. But this number doubles if we consider foreign residents who have obtained Portuguese citizenship. They are more than a million, 10% of the country’s population.
The foreign population residing in Portugal mainly comes from Brazil (37%), followed by Angola (6%), Cape Verde (5%), the United Kingdom (5%), and Ukraine (4%). In addition to the Brazilian communities (9 percentage points more), Nepalese, Indian and Italian (2 percentage points more), and Bengali (1 part) are the communities that have increased their relative weight. In the opposite direction, there are Cape Verdeans, Ukrainians, Romanians, Moldovans and Guineans🇧🇷
The 55,833 Temporary Protection granted in 2022 by SEF to refugees residing in Ukraine as a result of the war were not covered.
What the FFMS survey also tells us is that the foreign population is still more concentrated on the country’s coast (92%), in the Lisbon metropolitan area (47%) and in the Algarve (13%) than Portugal’s nationals. . In the Algarve region, they are three times more than the natives (4.1%).
In terms of distribution by municipality in terms of local population (see table), the top ten are Odemira, Vila do Bispo, Aljezur, Lagos, and Albufeira. In these municipalities, one in five residents is a foreigner.
Bordatta concludes that analyzing the income and risk of poverty or social exclusion of the foreign population in Portugal, “it is clear that these vary by nationality”.
In Portugal, the income of the Portuguese is higher than that of foreigners from non-EU countries, but lower when compared to foreign nationals from the 27 EU countries.
The risk of poverty or social exclusion among the adult population of Portugal is lower among Portuguese nationals (22%) than among foreigners (35%), but with differences: it is higher among nationals of non-EU countries 27 (37%) than among nationals of non-EU countries European 27 (37%) are citizens of the 27 countries that make up the European Union (27%).
“Devoted food specialist. General alcohol fanatic. Amateur explorer. Infuriatingly humble social media scholar. Analyst.”