ABSTRACT

During this period, there was a steady natural increase in population, offset in part by loss through emigration. The sharp fall in death rates among all age groups and especially infants - which, as we saw, occurred in the late 1940s and early 1950s — continued more slowly thereafter. In consequence, average life expectancy at birth rose dramatically from 52.9 in 1940 to 65 years in 1950, and then to 71.8 in 1970. Deaths of infants under one year old fell from 99.4 per thousand live births in 1938 to 41.9 in 1949, and then to 27.3 in 1972. Life expectancy for 65-year-olds rose from 13.7 years in 1950 to 14.6 in 1970. By the late 1960s, the infant mortality rate was far lower than in authoritarian Portugal or communist Yugoslavia, though a little higher than in Franco’s Spain.1