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Provisional Results of the 2021 Census show that the resident population of the Region stood at 250,769 inhabitants, representing a decrease of 6.4% compared to 2011

The Regional Directorate of Statistics of Madeira (DREM) releases today the Provisional Results of the 16th General Population Census and 6th General Housing Census (2021 Census), concerning the Autonomous Region of Madeira (ARM). The Census 2021 was a statistical operation under the responsibility of Statistics Portugal (INE), with DREM overseeing the coordination of the operation in the Region. The municipal councils and the civil parish councils also had a very important role in the 2021 Census. The collection of information took place between the 5th April and the 31st May.

The provisional results of the 2021 Census are referenced to 19th April 2021 (census day), allowing the characterization of the housing stock (buildings and dwellings) and the main socio-demographic characteristics of the resident population. This release is divided into three sections: population, households, and housing.

Censos 2021 EN

Population and territory - In the last decade, the population fell by 6.4%, which is the largest negative change among all census in the post-autonomic period

Provisional results from the 2021 Census indicate that the resident population in the Region was 250,769.

In the last decade, the population decreased by 6.4%, this being the largest negative change among all census in the post-autonomous period: +0.2% between 1981 and 1991, -3.3% between 1991 and 2001 and +9.3% between 2001 and 2011.

In the last decade all municipalities in the Region lost population, being the reduction in the number of residents more pronounced in the municipalities of Santana and São Vicente (-15.1% and 15.0%, respectively). In the municipalities of Santa Cruz and Ribeira Brava the population loss was not so noticeable, standing at -1.9% and -5.2%, respectively.

Age structure and gender - The phenomenon of population ageing, with an increase in the elderly population and a decrease in the younger population, is clearly visible

The provisional results of the 2021 Census indicate that the female population (133,076 women, 53.1%) is greater than the male population (117,693 men, 46.9%). However, the female preponderance occurs only among the age groups 25-64 years (52.0%) and 65 and over (61.2%), since among the youngest the female population is lower than the male: 48.9% in both age groups 0-14 and 15-24 years.

The phenomenon of population ageing, which derives from an increase in the elderly population and a decrease in the young population, is clearly visible from the 2021 Census data, for both men and women. While in 2001 there were 9.8% young men and 9.4% young women (0-14 years) in the total census population of that year, in 2021 these proportions have dropped to 6.5% and 6.2%, respectively. On the contrary, the proportion of men and women aged 65 and over in the total census population rose from 5.1% and 8.6% in 2001 to 7.7% and 12.2% in 2021, respectively.

Demographic Indicators - The predominance of women over men continues, especially among those aged 65 and over

In 2021, the sex ratio is 88.4 men to 100 women (89.2 in the previous Census), with this ratio being higher than 100 only in the parish of Caniçal, where there are around 104 men for every 100 women.

The predominance of women is stronger in the older age groups (65 and over), with the sex ratio of the population aged 65 and over being lower in most of the parishes.

In the Region, there are 157 elderly people for every 100 young people, with this ratio being higher in the parishes in the north of the island of Madeira, particularly in the parish of Ilha where this index reaches a maximum of 888 elderly people for every 100 young people. On the contrary, it is in the parish of Caniço where the population is younger: 72 elderly persons per 100 youngsters. It is important to note that in most of the parishes (94.4%), the number of elderly persons per 100 youngsters is over 100.

Marital status - Almost half the resident population in the Region is single

In 2021, almost half of the resident population in the Region is single (45.6%), with the majority of the population either married (38.5%), divorced (7.9%) or widowed (8.0%).

The proportion of singles is higher among men (49.3%) than among women (42.4%), as is the proportion of married people (40.8% of men and 36.4% of women).

The largest proportion of the divorced population is concentrated in the parishes of the municipality of Funchal.

Schooling - Women more educated than men

Most of the resident population in the Region either has no schooling (15.3%) or has up to basic education (49.7%). The share of those who have completed secondary or tertiary education is lower, representing 20.4% and 14.6% of the total resident population, respectively.

Women tend to be more educated than men: of the total female population, 17.3% have a higher level of education, while only 11.6% of men have the same level of education.

Households - Between 2011 and 2021, the average private household size decreased from 2.9 to 2.6 persons

Between 2011 and 2021, the average private household size has decreased from 2.9 to 2.6 people.

Private households are most composed of 1 or 2 persons, accounting for about 23.6% and 29.0% of households, respectively.

Almost a quarter of the households are composed of 3 persons (23.1%) and 16.3% by 4 persons. The share of large households is lower, with only 8.0% of the households consisting of 5 or more people.

Housing stock - Little change in the number of buildings and dwellings

The housing stock remained practically unchanged compared to 2011, interrupting the growth seen in recent decades.

Between 2011 and 2021, most municipalities saw a decrease in the share of secondary or seasonal dwellings. And although there was a slight increase (+0.1%) in vacant dwellings, the importance of the first dwelling strengthened.

In 2021, the conventional dwellings for usual residences (94,799) were mainly owner-occupied (74.4%), and of these, 66.2% had no associated financial burden. The number of rented dwellings increased 21.5% in the last decade, showing a new trend. 53% of tenants pay between EUR 200 and EUR 649.99 per month.


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