The number of children born in Spain fell once again between January and June of this year, a period during which 223,853 children were born, 2.7 percent fewer than during the first half of 2011, according to official figures released Wednesday.

The National Statistics Institute, or INE, also reported that the number of deaths increased during that time, rising in the first half of the year by 9.7 percent to 217,017.

The figures show that the overall aging of the Spanish population is continuing, a situation that began in 2009, the first year in which a decline in the birth rate was registered.

According to the Natural Movement of the Population and Basic Demographic Indicators survey, the falloff in births is due both to the fewer number of women of childbearing age as well as to the reduced fertility among Spanish women as well as foreigners.

The percentage of births to foreign mothers, however, fell more rapidly than did births to Spanish mothers, dropping to 18.7 percent of the total, as compared to 19.1 percent in 2011.

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