Natality rate warning
By Joe Wickman CASTELLÓN province’s under-16 population will drop by 30% in just 15 years, demographic projections indicate.
The Valencian institute of statistics explained when releasing this information that continued drops in natality and immigration have already led to a 2,337 student drop in the province this very year.
They go on to estimate that the figure will fall to just under 30,000 by 2031 if no measures are taken to slow it down.
The number of births peaked when the financial crisis began, with 7,206 in 2008, and has since decreased every year until reaching a new low last year, with 5,098. Reasons for this sustained drop include the crisis itself, which forces couples to postpone having children until their financial situation improves, decreased fertility for sociological reasons, a drop in population and the fact that numerous young foreigners have also elected to leave the country.
While these demographic alterations will negatively affect all areas within the province, it will send some inland villages straight into the red, as a lack of youth forces schools and businesses to close, which in turn leads to less couples living there, so the numbers worsen, and the cycle continues.
The Alto Mijares, l’Alcalatén and Alto Palancia districts within Castellón province are projected to be the most severely hit by this negative trend.
Castell de Cabres, Castellón, the town with the least population in the region - 15 inhabitants