Source : Diário de Notícias 9/1/2008
The birthrate on Madeira is in pretty rapid decline, with 250 less babies being born last year than in 2006. The pattern has been downwards for many years, with the days of huge numbers of children long gone, but the drop last year represented a sudden reduction of nearly 9%. Boys outnumbered the girls born by around 150.
Last 5 years birth rates
2003 – 3,181
2004 – 2,978
2005 – 2,957
2006 – 2,924
2007 – 2,674
The demographic patterns seen in other parts of europe (such as France and the UK) are clearly in evidence here too. Reducing birth rates due largely to social, working, and financial trends, at one end of the scale. At the other end, increasingly longer lives due in part to medicinal advances, lifestyle differences, and possibly immigration trends. That can only lead to one thing … an ageing population. Maybe one day it won’t be just the tourists who have an average age of 55!
Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta
Something to put in your diary for later this year is the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta, which begins in Falmouth on the south coast of England. The Tall Ships will gather for four days (10th – 13th September), then the crews will race down to Ílhavo in Portugal (20th – 23rd September) and then set-off for Madeira (2nd – 5th October), where the fleet will take part in the celebrations commemorating the 500th anniversary of the founding of Funchal.
As well as for experienced and professional sailors, the event is also open to trainee crew members with or without sailing experience, and also for disabled people. One of the rules for the race is that 50% of each ship’s crew must be aged between 15 and 25 years.