Madrid.—The National Institute of Statistics said yesterday that 484'055 people were born in Spain last year, nearly 2 percent less than in 2009, and that the birth rate per 1'000 head of population stood at 10.51, its lowest in 7 years.

The figures emerged in a survey on Population Movement for 2010 which also showed that average life expectancy in the country now stands at 82 years, 84.9 for women and 78.9 for men.

The birth rate has declined for the second year running after continuously increasing for 10 years. The downturn, said the INE, is the progressive reduction of the number of women of a fertile age.

Meanwhile, the mortality rate (378'667 in 2010) has also declined in comparison with the previous year.

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