Confronted with massive unemployment, Europe is again experiencing a steep decline in birthrates. At the center of this is Portugal, where the recent fall in births — to 89,841 in 2012, a 14 percent drop since 2008 — has been so acute that the government is moving to close a slew of maternity wards nationwide.
June 6, 2013 The signs of Europe’s crisis within a crisis are everywhere in Lisbon. Economic uncertainty is causing young couples to rethink family plans or leave these shores for other countries. At the city’s Alfredo da Costa Maternity Hospital, Portugal’s largest maternity hospital, the number of births dropped from 7,000 to 4,500 last year, leading the facility to mothball an entire wing and slash 20 percent of the staff. Matt McClain/The Washington Post