In Spanish homes there are already more pets than children

The latest figures published by the INE (National Institute of Statistics), places Spain as an aging country in which there are already more pets than children in young households. According to statistics, there are more than 6 million children under 14 years of age in the country, while the Spanish Network for the Identification of Companion Animals (REIAC) states that there are about 13 million pets in households, figures that are not exact due to the fact that there are many owners who do not register the animals.

While death figures grew last year, birth rates are at their lowest points. According to the INE, "The number of births fell 5.9% and the average number of children per woman stood at 1.18 ".

Why do you have fewer children and more pets?

Known as "Millennials " have been carrying the economic crisis of 2008, job insecurity and the difficulties faced by young people to make ends meet, instead of living, they survive. The latest data offered by the Labor Force Survey carried out by the INE announce figures that leave us frozen. According to this survey, in Spain there are 7 million young people between 16 and 29 years old, of which 61% are active population of working age. Of the total assets under 29 years of age, 60% have a job and 40% cannot find it. If we reduce the age range considered to 25 we find the 57% unemployment, that constitutes the highest number of youth unemployment in the European Union.

The Young Spaniards are the most educated generation in history at an academic level, but it is the one that will live the worst, according to the article “Youth, unemployment and job insecurity. The network as a space for the construction of alternatives ", determines that young graduates cannot find work and the little they do find are temporary contracts and precarious jobs. The youth unemployment rate for university graduates aged 20-29 in 2012 was 31.5% affecting almost 450.000 people.

This is not the only variable that affects young people when considering having children, the work exile to seek a better life adds to it. Since the beginning of the crisis, the number of Spaniards residing abroad has grown notably. According to the Register of Spaniards Residing Abroad dependent on the INE the number of young Spaniards residing in other countries has increased by 60.469 since 2009.

The situation is not that young people do not want to have children, it is that in many cases it is already quite difficult to support oneself or as a couple financially, and having a child means planning and having a certain financial stability to be able to cover their needs. To all this we must add the long working hours and the difficulties in reconciling work and personal life, the high price of housing (either for rent or facing a mortgage) and a long etcetera. 

According to an article published in La Vanguardia, the economic aspect is an important handicap: “keeping a dog is much easier and cheaper, while the basic bills for dogs amount to an average of just over 37 euros, those for a child are it places between 350 and 420 euros on average per month, during the first year of life, an amount that grows over time ". This is another of the reasons why pets gain prominence in young Spanish households. 

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