40% more foreigners in Portugal

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Portugal has lost 2.1% of its population over the past ten years; however, the number of expatriates has increased, which now represents five percent of the total population.

According to the latest 2021 census data, published on December 16 by the National Statistics Institute (INE), Portugal had 10,344,802 inhabitants in 2021.

Over the past 10 years, the country has lost 217,376 people, a drop of 2.1% that results from a difference between births and deaths of 250,066 people. The last time there was a population loss between censuses was in 1970, due to heavy emigration in the 1960s.

The number of people over 65 has increased by 20.6% since 2011, with 2,424,122 people in this age group, or 23.4% of Portuguese.

Currently, Oleiros (Castelo Branco), Alcoutim (Faro) and Almeida (Guarda) are the most populous Portuguese municipalities, while Ribeira Grande and Lagoa, in the Azores, and Santa Cruz (Madeira) are the youngest.

On the other hand, the country has increased the number of expatriates, who now represent 5.4% of the total population of the country, an increase of 40.6% compared to 2011.

Among foreigners residing in Portugal, 452,231 (81.4 per cent of the total) are from countries outside the European Union and “the majority” of municipalities with the highest presence of foreign population are located in the south of the country. , namely in the Algarve region and in Lisbon.

Since 2011, the municipalities located in the interior of the country have lost population and the municipalities which have recorded population growth are located mainly on the coast.

According to the 2021 census, Portugal is now more qualified than a decade ago and currently 38.7% of the population has at least completed secondary education. In the report, the INE underlines that in general, “the level of education of the population has increased”.

Looking at households in Portugal, a third have two people, while a quarter are people living alone. Globally, household size has declined over the past ten years and in 2021 there were 4,149,668 private households and 5,476 institutional households. In addition, the number of buildings intended for housing is 3,573,416, an increase of 0.8%.


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