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Vital Statistics

In 2022, the number of births falls for the fourth year and reaches the lowest level since 1977

Section: Social Statistics | Caio Belandi | Design: Licia Rubinstein

March 27, 2024 10h00 AM | Last Updated: March 28, 2024 04h43 PM

  • Highlights

  • Brazil registered 2.54 million births in 2022, a drop of 3.5% compared to 2021, reaching the lowest level since 1977 – the time series began in 1974.
  • This is the fourth consecutive decline. In 2018, the number of registered births was 2.89 million. Compared to the average of the five years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (2015 to 2019), there is a decrease of 11.4%;
  • All Major Regions showed a drop in birth registrations in 2022. However, the percentage was higher than the national average in the Northeast (-6.7%) and North (-3.8%).
  • Santa Catarina (2.0%) and Mato Grosso (1.8%) were the only states that showed an increase in birth registrations.
  • The country recorded 1.50 million deaths in 2022, a number 15.8% lower compared to 2021, but deaths of children and adolescents up to 14 years old increased.
  • The number of marriages grew 4.0% in 2022, totaling 970 thousand; same-sex marriages broke a record, with 11 thousand.
  • The number of divorces increased by 8.6% in 2022, reaching 420 thousand.
Number of birth registrations keeps falling and reaches the lowest level since the 70s - Photo: Pxhere

Brazil registered 2.54 million births in 2022, a drop of 3.5% compared to 2021, when the number was 2.63 million. This is the fourth consecutive decline in the country's total births, which reached the lowest level since 1977. Northeast (-6.7%) and North (-3.8%) had the most intense declines. The data comes from Vital Statistics Survey, released today (27) by the IBGE, whose time series began in 1974.

In 2018, Brazil registered 2.89 million births. Compared to the average of the five years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (2015 to 2019), there is a decrease of 326.18 thousand births, or 11.4%. “The reduction in birth rates and fertility in the country, already shwoing in the latest Population Censuses, coupled with, to some extent, the effects of the pandemic, are elements to be considered in the study of the evolution of births occurring in Brazil in recent years”, explains survey manager Klívia Brayner.

As a whole, 2.62 million births were registered in 2022, of which 2.54 million are related to children born in 2022 and registered until the first quarter of 2023, in accordance with legislation, while another 78.7 thousand registrations were of births that occurred in previous years or with an unknown year of birth.

All Major Regions showed a drop in birth registrations in 2022. However, the percentage was higher than the national average in the Northeast (-6.7%) and North (-3.8%). Southeast (-2.6%), Central-West (-1.6%) and South (-0.7%) complete the list. Among the Federation Units, Paraíba showed the biggest drop (-9.9%), followed by Maranhão (-8.5%), Sergipe (-7.8%) and Rio Grande do Norte (-7.3% ). Santa Catarina (2.0%) and Mato Grosso (1.8%) were the only states that showed increase in birth registrations.

March was the month with the most births, with 233.17 thousand, followed by May (230.79 thousand), while October had the lowest number, 189 thousand. “This behavior confirms the trend of previous years of a greater volume of births occurring in the first half of the year, especially in March”, says the researcher.

In the analysis of birth records that occurred in 2022, according to mothers' ages, the survey confirms the trend of women having children later, although the predominance is still in the 20 to 29 age range (49.2%). However, in 2010, this percentage had been 53.1%. The downward trend in the under 20 age group also continued: the percentage, which had been 18.5% in 2010, went to 13.2% in 2021 and fell to 12.1% in 2022.

“Data shows the increased representation of live births in the goup of mothers aged 30 to 39”, adds Ms. Brayner. This percentage increased from 26.1% in 2010 to 33.8% in 2021 and reached 34.5% in 2022. The Southeast (38.0%) and South (37.6%) had the highest percentages of births for mothers aged 30 to 39 at the time of birth.

In 2022, deaths fell by 15.8% compared to 2021, but deaths of children and adolescents up to 14 years old increased

In 2022, the country recorded 1.50 million deaths, a drop of 15.8% (281.5 thousand less) compared to the previous year. As a whole, 1.52 million deaths were recorded in the year, with these 1.50 million corresponding to those that occurred in 2022 and were registered until the first quarter of 2023, in accordance with current legislation. The remaining 19,900 records occurred previous years or with an unknown year of death.

“This result follows the decline in deaths caused by Covid-19, with the increase in the number of persons who completed the vaccination schedule”, explains Ms. Brayner, mentioning that the result for 2021 (1.78 million), at the pandemic's peak, was a record in the time series, which began in 1974. However, the number of deaths in 2022 was 14.2% higher than in 2019 (1.31 million), the last pre-pandemic year.

In the monthly result, it is noteworthy that January 2022 was the only month with an increase compared to the same month in 2021: the number of deaths grew 10.7%, reaching 161.18 thousand, marking the fifth highest in the series after the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020), only behind the months of March to June 2021.

“In fact, the beginning of 2022 was marked by the third wave of COVID-19 in Brazil, caused by the Ômicron variant, in addition to an epidemic of Influenza A, also responsible for the increase in deaths among the elderly in the period”, states the survey manager. “Despite the reduction in deaths from COVID-19 in a context of increased coverage of the vaccinated population, the virus remained quite lethal in the first half of 2022”, she adds. It is worth remembering that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) only in May 2023. The second month with the highest occurence of deaths in 2022 was July, with 134.33 thousand.

The reduction in the number of deaths between 2021 and 2022 was seen in all Major Regions and FUs, with the biggest drops in the Central-West (-21.7%) and North (-21.1%), and the smallest in the Northeast (-9.3%). The five FUs that showed the biggest percentage drop were Amazonas (-29.9%), Rondônia (-26.6%), Acre (-25.0%), Federal District (-24.0%) and Roraima (- 23.6%). On the other hand, Piauí (-6.3%), Bahia (-6.9%), Paraíba (-6.9%), Alagoas (-7.2%) and Rio Grande do Norte (-8.8% ) had the smallest declines.

By age groups, attention is drawn to the fact that, for the population under 15 years of age, there was an increase in the number of deaths from 2021 to 2022. As a whole, 40.1 thousand deaths were recorded for persons aged 0 to 14 years old, 7.8% more than in 2021 (37.2 thousand). The biggest increase occurred among children aged 1 to 4 years: there were 6 thousand deaths, 27.7% more than in 2021 (4.7 thousand).

Klívia Brayner states that the survey result is compatible with what was found in the Brazil Mortality Information System of the Ministry of Health (SIM/MS), which also shows an increase in the number of deaths among children and adolescents aged 0 to 14. “According to information from this system, deaths caused by respiratory diseases such as flu, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, asthma and others corresponded to more than 60% of the difference in the total number of deaths in this age group between 2021 and 2022. Considering that Brazilian children and adolescents were vaccinated after the adults, thus taking longer to complete the vaccination schedule, COVID-19 probably contributed strongly to this situation”, explains the researcher.

In all other age groups from 15 years and over, there was a reduction in the number of deaths, especially on the age groups from 40 to 49 and from 50 to 59, which showed the greatest reduction between 2021 and 2022: fall of 30.1% and 30.5%, respectively.

Mortality also differs by sex. Between 2021 and 2022, the relative reduction in the number of female deaths (-14.5%) was lower than that of men (-16.8%) and the ratio of deaths between sexes decreased from 124.1 to 120.8 male deaths out of every 100 female deaths.

Number of marriages grew 4% in 2022; same-sex registration broke record

The survey also shows that, in 2022, there were 970,000 civil marriages carried out in civil registry offices for natural persons, an increase of 4.0% compared to 2021. All Major Regions had an increase, especially the South, which presented increase of 9.5%.

Of the total, only 1.1% (11 thousand) were same-sex marriages. This number, however, is 19.8% higher than in 2021 (9.2 thousand) and represents a record in the series, started in 2013, when the National Council of Justice (CNJ) forbade registry offices to refuse to celebrate marriages between people of the same sex. Of these 11 thousand, the majority (60.2%) were between female spouses.

“Since 2015, the number of marriages has been on a downward trend. There was an even more significant decrease between 2019 and 2020, closely related to the pandemic scenario and the health guidelines for social distancing”, explains Ms. Brayner, who adds: “Even with the growth in 2021 and 2022, the number of marriage registrations did not exceed the average for the five years prior to the pandemic (2015 to 2019)”. The month of December had the highest number of registrations (101.7 thousand) while February (63.3 thousand) had the lowest number.

In terms of age, the time series of the survey shows that the ages of spouses in marriages between persons of different sexes, regardless of previous marital status, have increased over recent years, for both men and women. In 2000, 6.3% of women who married were 40 years of age or older. In 2022, this percentage reaches 24.1%. This phenomenon was also observed among men in the same age group, who represented 10.2% in 2000 and reached 30.4% in 2022.

Number of divorces increased by 8.6% in 2022 and reached 420 thousand

In 2022, Vital Statistics recorded 420 thousand divorces granted in first instances or by extrajudicial deeds, an increase of 8.6% compared to the total in 2021 (386.8 thousand). Among Major Regions, the Central-West and Northeast presented the greatest change, of 26.5% and 14.0%, respectively. On average, men divorced at older ages (44) than women (41).

Judicial divorces granted in first instances corresponded to 81.1% of divorces in the country. In the analysis of this type of divorce according to family arrangement, the highest proportion of dissolutions occurred among families constituted only with children under 18, reaching 47.0 % in 2022.



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