Spain birth up by in 2014, first time after 5-year negative run during economic crisis

Spain's National Statistics Institute says the number of births in the country rose in 2014, ending a five-year decline that coincided with the financial crisis.

The institute said Monday 426,303 babies were born last year, 588 — or 0.1 percent — more than in 2013.

The institute said 519,779 babies were born in 2008, the highest number in 30 years. Since then, the number has fallen by 18 percent.

The five-year decline roughly coincided with the economic crisis that lashed Spain after 2008. The economy emerged from a double-dip recession only at the end of 2013 and is growing again, although unemployment is still 24 percent.

The institute said Spain's annual birthrate was now 9.1 per 1,000 inhabitants.