Portugal foresaw its future lack of workers years ago and tried a solution: immigration. That’s how it went

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Portugal foresaw its future lack of workers years ago and tried a solution: immigration.  That's how it went

Portugal has been having a birth problem for years. It is one of the countries in Europe with the fewest births, eight per 1,000 inhabitants per year, a figure that has remained constant, with slight ups and downs, since 2013, and that since 2018 has not stopped slowly but inexorably falling, according to World Bank data.

In fact, some studies point out that by 2070 the Portuguese will have lost 23% of their current population due to the few children they have. For that same year it is estimated that only 34% of the population will be active, so that a third of the Portuguese will have to support the remaining 66%. Currently, 77% of the Portuguese population is active, according to data from the Ministry of Labor of that country.

a problem. All these figures show a problem of biblical proportions for the Portuguese, who at that rate would see not only their economy compromised, but also their very survival as a country. But the numbers, although they began to be especially striking as of 2013, had already been showing signs of alarm long before (Portuguese births have not stopped decreasing since 2000), which is why the Government of Portugal decided, in 2007, make its migration policy more flexible to alleviate the natural decline of its population.

Since then, the Portuguese have been launching different regulations to facilitate the legal arrival of foreigners from any country and condition to work, from people looking for a job in Portugal to independent professionals who carry out their work remotely (digital nomads) and wish to settle in the Portuguese country to enjoy its good quality of life and its low taxes.

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The last of these laws to encourage the arrival of foreigners was approved, in fact, just a few weeks ago, and thanks to it, foreigners will be able to request a 120-day visa, extendable for a further 60 days, just by pointing out that they have entered the country to look for a job. It should be remembered that the tourist visa only allows you to stay in the country for 90 days.

And has it worked? Everything seems to indicate yes. According to the Portuguese Labor Minister, Ana Mendes Godinho, the number of foreign workers who contribute to the Portuguese Social Security has increased by 148% in the last seven years, from 191,000 in 2015 to 473,000 at the end of 2021, According to the Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Negocios.

This means that currently 10% of the working population in Portugal is an immigrant. According to the same ministerial department, the contribution of these people to the Portuguese coffers in taxes translates at 1,300 million euros per year.

Comparison with Spain. When it comes to birth rate, Spain is currently even worse than Portugal. Our country is, together with Italy, the one with the lowest number of births per year in the European Union, seven per year for every 1,000 inhabitants in 2020, according to World Bank data. The difference with our neighbors is that our problem in this section seemed to begin to be solved in the first decade of the 21st century, when we went from having nine births per year per 1,000 inhabitants in 1998 to 11 in 2008, with constant and sustained growth.

However, the economic crisis of 2008 hit hard the desire and possibilities of having children of the Spaniards, and since 2009 the birth rate has not stopped falling to the aforementioned seven births per 1,000 inhabitants, below From Portugal. The historical series of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) translates that rate into absolute numbers: in 2008, the maximum number of annual births since they were counted was reached, 519,779, the number has not stopped falling to 341,315 in 2020.

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Common problem, Portuguese solution. This low birth rate, which has no signs of reversing given thehe economic problems presented by young Spaniards to be able to raise children, places our country in a complicated demographic and employment situation by 2030, as Magnet’s companions explained. For this reason, the Government of Spain has recently decided to launch a Portuguese solution: to facilitate the legal arrival of foreigners to work.

At the end of last July, the Spanish Executive approved the reform of the immigration regulations that, among other things, will allow citizens of other countries who study in Spain to be hired by companies in our country with their student visa (until now it was prohibited), it will streamline the procedures for renewing work permits and will offer more facilities to contract directly abroad, as explained by El Periódico de España.

Likewise, the Government plans to approve the Startups Law in the coming months, a regulation that includes a section dedicated to digital nomads, as we already explained in Engadget, for which a special visa will be created and tax advantages will be granted. to encourage foreign independent professionals who work remotely to establish themselves and pay taxes in our country, as Portugal already does.

Image | Vita Marija Murenaite


The news

Portugal foresaw its future lack of workers years ago and tried a solution: immigration. That’s how it went

was originally published in

Xataka

by Pablo Rodriguez.

Portugal has been having a birth problem for years. It is one of the countries in Europe with the fewest…

Portugal has been having a birth problem for years. It is one of the countries in Europe with the fewest…

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