October 29th, 2012 | Posted in Population Basics
by Carl Haub, senior demographer
PORDATA, www.pordata.pt, available in both Portuguese and English, provides a wide variety of demographic, social, and economic data on Portugal, the 27 European Union countries, and in some cases even the United States and Japan. The site was developed by the Foundation Francisco Manuel dos Santos in Lisbon.
The PORDATA website provides needed supporting data for Portugal and the European Union. The section on Portugal contains 1,017 tables covering 15 themes, while the European section has 506 tables covering 10 themes. There is also a section providing data on Portugal’s 308 municipalities (districts) with 542 tables for country in-depth analysis. In this section data are also displayed in several kinds of maps. All three databases are continually updated and most tables present data from 1960 until the present.
Besides a large body of data, why is PORDATA unique? That’s a simple answer: ease of use. Those who have been down the road searching for data on national statistics websites or on international organization websites are all-too-familiar with the often maze-like organization of those sites. But on PORDATA data available are quickly listed under themes such as population, health, employment, and family income. Clicking on a theme leads to subthemes with the data available clearly shown. With PORDATA, what you see is what you can get.
In September, the Foundation Francisco Manuel dos Santos sponsored a conference at the Cultural Center of Belem in Lisbon, and population was the central topic of many discussions. Over two days, the world’s—but mostly Portugal’s—current and foreseen challenges, such as the consequences of an extremely low birth rate and of the unprecedented aging of the population, gathered the attention of over 1,200 people. The goal: to encourage people to think about demographic changes and challenges and to raise awareness of demography as a social issue that concerns every person.
Portugal’s total fertility rate was 1.37 children per woman in 2010 and births have been declining since then. The low birth rate is leading to unprecedented population aging, as is happening in many other developed countries. Projections prepared for the foundation show that the proportion of the country’s population ages 65+ will rise to about one-third by 2050. The effect of a low birth rate can easily be seen in the population pyramid above.