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In 2021

Negative natural balance reached its lowest value since 1970. Number of births fell compared to 2020, while the number of deaths and marriages increased

The Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira (DREM) releases today data on live births, deaths and marriages for 2021.

DREM also provides a In Focus (in Portuguese only) about Demography in the Autonomous Region of Madeira (ARM) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes an analysis of the demographic situation in the ARM in 2020 and 2021, years in which the effects of the pandemic had an impact on demographic trends in the Region, mainly in the increase in mortality and in the reduction of births and marriages.

Also, for the first time, a dashboard is available on the website of DREM that summarizes data on live births, deaths and marriages, since 1970, by municipality and parish. This dashboard also includes information from the Regional Health Directorate of the Autonomous Region of Madeira on the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. It should be noted that the new Demography dashboard uses visually appealing cartograms and graphs and allows the selection of different indicators depending on the year, municipality and parish.

In this release, the data refer to 2021 and are based on the information registered at the Civil Registry Offices up to March 2022. It should also be noted that the information related to deaths is subject to revision after the codification of the causes of death in 2020 and 2021.

The final results of demographic statistics show that in 2021, the Autonomous Region of Madeira (ARM) registered a natural decrease of -1 131 persons, more significant than in 2020 (-853 persons) and the lowest since 1970. This decrease was the result of a lower number of live births (-6.2%) than deaths (6.0%). This trend of a higher number of deaths than births started in 2009 and it is shared by the country.


The number of live births decreased again in 2021, reaching the second lowest value since 1970: 1,739 in 2014 and 1,744 in 2021. This decrease reflects a decline of 6.2% compared to 2020 (1,860 live births). The highest number of births occurred in December (171) and the lowest in February (122). Of the 1,744 children born in 2021, 50.9% were male, representing a sex ratio at birth of 104, i.e., for each 100 female’s births, 104 were males. In the country, this figure was 106.

Continuing a trend that has been in place since 2016, most of the live births of 2021 took place outside marriage accounting for 64.1%( 57.9% in the country): 41.3% were cohabitant parents and 22.8% were of non-cohabiting parents. The highest concentration of live births occurred from mothers aged over 29 years (65.3%), while mothers between 30 and 39 years old were accountable for 56.6% of the total births registered this year. The share of live births from mothers aged 40 years or over stood at 8.7% (152 live births), the same as in 2020. The number of live births from teenage mothers (19 years or under) decreased slightly compared to the previous year (2.6% in 2020 and 1.9% in 2021). Note that in 2021, 35.3% of live births were to mothers aged 35 and over, which is higher than the national percentage (33.7%).


There were 2,875 deaths in 2021, up by 6.0% from the previous year (2,713).

Of the total number of deaths, 81.7% were persons 65 or over (86.2% in the country) and 50.2% were aged 80 or over (60.4% in Portugal). The number of deaths varied throughout the months of the year, with higher values in the winter months and lower in the summer. The number of deaths had its highest peak in January (312) and its lowest in June (187).

Similar to the trend that started in 2010, with the exception of 2016, the number of deaths of women exceeded that of men, with 1,416 deaths among men (49.3%) and 1,459 among women (50.7%).

In the year of reference, 6 deaths under 1 year and 6 dead fetuses were recorded (6 deaths under 1 year and 5 dead fetuses in 2020). The infant mortality rate stood at 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births (3.2 in 2020), a value above the national average (2.4 deaths per thousand live births).


In the Region, in 2021, 866 marriages were celebrated, which represents an increase of 41.5% compared to the previous year (612 marriages) and a decrease of 10.4% compared to 2019 (966 marriages).

Of the total number of marriages, 96.5% were celebrated between persons of the opposite sex, while the remaining 3.5% were same-sex marriages (30 in total: 13 between men and 17 between women). The highest number of marriages was registered in September (135) and the lowest in February (28).

The results also show that 65.2% of the marriages celebrated in 2021 were first marriages. Of the total marriages between people of the opposite sex, 76.8% were civil and 23.2% catholic. In 61.4% of the total number of marriages, the chosen property scheme was joint marital property. It should also be highlighted that in 70.9% of the marriages the spouses already cohabited.

In 2021, there were 1,104 marriage dissolutions due to the death of the opposite sex spouse, 96 more than in 2020, resulting in 296 widowers and 808 widows. Widowhood affects mainly women, due to the higher female life expectancy.

 Saldo óbitos nados casamentosEN

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