MORE people died in Spain during 2020 than in any year since records began in 1941.
The mortality rate across Spain hit its highest annual level since records began due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the number of births fell sharply.
Experts warned that Spain is facing the biggest demographic crisis since the Spanish Civil War.
New data released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) showed the official number of deaths in 2020 totalled 492,930, up a whopping 17.5% from the previous year.
While the average life expectancy in Spain – which is the highest in Europe and second highest in the world after Japan – fell by 1.24 years to 82.3 years, the data showed.
Spain’s Health Ministry officially recorded 50,837 deaths in 2020 from COVID-19 with more than 900 deaths recorded in a single day during April when the virus hit its peak.
But the true number is thought to be much higher as many deaths outside hospitals in the first months of the pandemic weren’t confirmed as COVID-19 through testing
The new data also revealed, not surprisingly due to the restrictions on social gatherings, that 2020 saw almost half the number of weddings of the previous year with just 90,416 marriages being celebrated.
And despite predictions that lockdown could see a baby boom, the birth rate dropped by almost 6% to 339,206, another record low as people postponed having children as the economy and employment became precarious.