The future of the Portuguese population in discussion: how aging will influence household structures?

Maria Mendes, Universidade de Évora
Lídia P. Tomé, Universidade de Évora
Filipe Ribeiro, Universidade de Évora

Demographic paradigms are constantly in change with time. Together with the increasing lifespan, fertility rates are declining across entire Europe. These two factors are contributing jointly to a generalized aging in populations for the most industrialized countries. Portugal is not an exception, and if in some cases fertility recuperation is starting to be observed, it seems that this recuperation is not close to happen in the Portuguese population. Additionally, the fact that Southern Europe is in economic crisis, and that Portugal was the second country from the south, after Greece, in economic collapse, resulted in a strong impact at the family context. With such low fertility and deep economic crisis, the thematic of migration adds a major concern about the population future in the country. Migration in Portugal is predicted to increase rapidly in the next years, possibly returning to a pattern of massive out-migration. This reality results in very deep problems to entire populations and let politicians and demographers interested in answering questions like: Will be the country economically sustainable in the future? Is Portugal going to decline total population? or, How these changes will influence the household structures? Trying to answer to the advanced questions, we intend to elaborate a cohort component projection, for a medium term period, allowing to identify the Portuguese population structure in the future and, at the same time, evaluate the possible changes that the country will have to face. Another purpose is to break down these projections, using the headship rate method proposed by the United Nations in 1973 and the model improvements proposed by Ediev in 2007, to estimate the future composition of households in Portugal, by age, sex and civil status. In this way, it is also our aim to provide a possible and important basis of decision for policy makers.

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Presented in Poster Session 2