Portugal has lost 2.1 percent of its population in the last ten years; however, the number of ex-pats has increased, which now makes up five percent of the entire population.
According to the latest data from the 2021 Census, released on 16 December 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 percent that results from a difference between births and deaths of 250,066 people. The last time that there was a population loss between Census was in 1970, as a result of high emigration in the 60s.
The number of people aged over 65 has increased by 20.6 percent since 2011, with 2,424,122 individuals in this age group, representing 23.4 percent of the Portuguese.
Currently, Oleiros (Castelo Branco), Alcoutim (Faro) and Almeida (Guarda), are the Portuguese municipalities with the oldest population, while Ribeira Grande and Lagoa, in the Azores, and Santa Cruz (Madeira) are the youngest ones.
On the other hand, the country increased the number of ex-pats, who now represent 5.4 percent of the total population in the country, increasing by 40.6 percent compared to 2011.
Among foreigners residing in Portugal, 452,231 (81.4 percent 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 that have registered a population growth are located, above all, on the coast.
According to Census2021 Portugal is now more qualified than a decade ago and, currently, 38.7 percent of the population has at least completed high school. In the report, INE highlights 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 is people living alone. Overall, the size of households has dropped in the last ten years and in 2021 there were 4,149,668 private households and 5,476 institutional households. In addition, the number of buildings for housing is 3,573,416, representing an increase of 0.8 percent.