Why we did it

Ageing presents itself as one of the central problems of the XXI Century. The last decades of the past Century witnessed a continuous increasing on the number of seniors, who turned the most developed societies into ageing societies. Portugal is not an exception, actually, Portuguese population has been experiencing a demographic paradigm shift, due to an accelerated ageing of the population resulting from a fertility decline, life expectancy increasing and emigration, as well as profound social, economic and policy changes.

  • In 1970 Ageing Index in Portugal was 34, which means that per 100 young (from 0 to 14) existed 34 elderly’s, this index grown to 138 in 2014 (INE, 2014).
  • In 2014 Portugal has the lowest fertility rate in the European Union (1.23 live births per woman), while France has the highest value (2.01 live births per woman).

According to this situation it is mandatory a reflection about strategies to “ability the people who grow older lead a productive life in society and the economy”, defined as active ageing (OCDE, 1998). By the other side, as many European countries, low fertility in Portugal became a concern and it is essential to understand the underlying reasons and determinants regarding fertility and which benefits could be implemented by government and companies to provide families assistance to get their expectancies due to family dimensions.

Due to an essential need of knowledge about this topics, Observatory of Childbirth and Ageing Portugal – 1st Edition, will reflect about topics related to an active ageing as health, physical activity, mental and emotional wellbeing, physical and financial autonomy, relationships, social participation and topics related to family expectancies and fertility determinants, leading society and stakeholders to a general reflection.

The Observatory of Childbirth and Ageing in Portugal – 1st edition is based on a countrywide population survey and its main goals are:

  • To understand the most relevant determinants of fertility in Portugal, particularly the inducing and the constraining ones;
  • To understand and analyze trends regarding the Childbirth theme in Portugal;
  • To compare, from a statistical point of view, the wished family size (number of family members) and its effective dimension;
  • To identify policies/measures that can be undertaken by public and private organizations in order to promote an increase of the birth rate in Portugal.
  • To understand the needs and expectations of the elderly population in Portugal;
  • To understand which are the trends and opportunities for the implementation of the active ageing concept in Portugal;
  • To identify which measures can be undertaken by public and private organizations in order to enhance the quality of life and to promote the active ageing concept;
  • To understand the importance of elderly care structures to the senior population, while aiming to identify improvement opportunities in this field;
  • To analyze the life quality and well-being of the elderly, their social and economic conditions, amongst the different geographic regions in Portugal;

Developing this project on a countrywide scale, required the establishment of technical-scientific cooperation agreements with reference universities, professional associations, public and private organizations involved/interested on childbirth and/or ageing subjects.