Spain has appointed a ‘sex tsar’ to encourage the declining population to ramp up procreation in a bid to reverse a dip in the birth rate.
The country reported a higher number of deaths than births for the first time in 2016, prompting the government to take action.
Statistics revealed Spanish women claim they would like two or more children, but figures from 2015 paint a different picture.
Those aged 18-49 reportedly had an average of 1.3 children, below the European Union’s (EU) figure of 1.58.
A declining birth-rate is a common feature across many European countries but Spain’s figures means it has one of the lowest birth-rates in the developed world.
In response and faced with an impending population crisis, the government has appointed Edelmira Barreira to the position of sex tsar.
The portfolio was created by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Ms Barreira, a demographic expert, will help draft a document for a national strategy of demographic imbalances.
Spain’s education ministry said the declining birth-rate “aggravates other economic imbalances and generates important “impacts” in the Welfare State”, Spanish news site ABC reported.
Theorising why the birth rate was so low in the Mediterranean country, Rafael Puyol, of the IE Business School in Madrid, said people are often too tired after a full day at work and blamed long working hours and late nights for the decrease.
He said: “They do not help with making a family. Then a child arrives and it is even worse.”