The data on deaths in 2020 that were already sensed in recent months were endorsed yesterday by the definitive statistics of the National Institute of Statistics (INE). After having given several provisional results, the final number of deceased persons in the province was 17,555 (48,549 in the Valencian Community). This is 10.8% more than the previous year when 15,908 people died.
The covid-19 pandemic has tragically left its mark on the INE’s books. And it is that although all the deaths produced and not only those caused by the coronavirus are counted, the growth compared to previous years is very unusual. Between 2018 and 2019 there were 1,314 deaths of difference, but between 2019 and 2020 that figure stretched to 4,533 people in the Community. When in the future someone tries to look for the direct consequences of the pandemic in the Valencian territory, they will go to this statistic and obtain the clearest example possible with that 10.30% increase in deaths between year and year. However, the impact that covid-19 has had in 2021 remains to be reflected, in any case, the year in which the Community has suffered the deadliest wave of this disease so far.
Alicante, with a 10.81% variation in deaths, and Valencia, with 10.35% were the two provinces with the most deaths compared to the previous year. The province of Castellón registered a slightly less bad figure, with an increase in deaths of 7.92%. In concrete numbers, they were 17,555 in Alicante, 25,309 in Valencia and 5,685 in Castellón. In any case, something that is incontestable is that the total annual number of Valencian deaths is the highest since 1918, when the previous great pandemic occurred: the Spanish flu. Of course, then, the 51,727 deaths that were there represented 3% of the census, for 0.96% of the population that was the current pandemic.
To increase the contrast even more, the downward trend in terms of births that has been underway for a decade was pronounced last year, according to the INE. The Community is in the seventh position with the greatest drop in births at the national level.
Newborns in a society in which they are increasingly late and where the job stability of young people takes a long time to arrive, remained at 35,761 in 2020 in the Community. It is 4.19% less than two years ago. In the province of Alicante, 5.07% fewer births were registered, with 13,334 deliveries compared to 14,046 in 2019.
The third leg of the statistics published yesterday by the INE put black on white another of the trends throughout Spain in the first year of the pandemic: that of putting marriages in a kind of danger of extinction. The cancellations and postponements of weddings scheduled for 2020 were one of the most repeated acts within the communities of family, friends and acquaintances. Although it was a peak in saved gifts and cutlery, it also represented the sadness of the absence of marriage celebrations and an economic ruin for the sector that organizes them. In the Community there were 10,671 marriages, a drop of 39.14% compared to 2019. In the case of the province, from 6,226 marriages in 2019 it went to 3,968 last year.