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Did Spain Really Appoint a 'Sex Czar' to Convince People to Make More Babies?

Picture of Nadia Elysse
US Editorial Team Lead
Updated: 28 February 2017
When your country’s death rate outpaces its birth rate, it only makes sense to appoint a “sex czar” to increase conceptions right? Spain’s solution to its plummeting birth rate has garnered quite a bit of attention. But Edelmira Barreira Diz, the country’s new “Commissioner for the Demographic Challenge,” isn’t a sex czar at all.

Spain has the lowest birth rate in the developed world, according to the Independent. The number of births in the country has decreased by 18 percent since 2008. And, just last year, the number of deaths in Spain exceeded the number of births.

So it’s no surprise that the government would want to address the issue. Socioeconomic problems have been identified as the main source of the declining birth rates. While many women report wanting two or more children, their financial capabilities limit them to just one child. Some Spanish couples forego having children at all.

But the poor economy may be both a symptom and a consequence of the low birth rate. The decline in births “aggravates other economic imbalances and generates important impacts in the Welfare State”, Spain’s education ministry said, according to the Independent.

Diz’s goal as Commissioner for the Demographic Challenge will be to address the underlying issues causing the low birth rate, including those related to the economy. So no, she is no “sex czar,” but she may be a much-needed solution to a very real problem.