Rafael Marchante Fernando rests on a sofa inside his house in Povoa de Agracoes, near Chaves, Portugal, April 19, 2016. 
Rafael Marchante The interior of a house in Agracoes, near Chaves, Portugal is exposed after it is adandoned, April 18, 2016. 
Rafael Marchante A dog sleeps in a street in Povoa de Agracoes, near Chaves, Portugal April 18, 2016. 
Rafael Marchante Maria Fontes poses for a portrait inside her house in Agracoes, near Chaves, Portugal April 18, 2016. 
A tombstone next to the church in Povoa de Agracoes near Chaves, Portugal, bears the names of previous residents of the town, April 19, 2016. 
Rafael Marchante Mariana Teixeira pulls of a cart with firewood in Povoa de Agracoes, near Chaves, Portugal April 18, 2016.
Rafael Marchante Zulmira Jesus poses for a portrait at a street in Povoa de Agracoes, near Chaves, Portugal April 19, 2016.
Rafael Marchante Moss and grass cover the remains of an abandoned house in Agracoes near Chaves, Portugal, April 18, 2016.
Rafael Marchante The town of Povoa de Agracoes near Chaves, Portugal, April 18, 2016. 
Rafael Marchante The bell tower of the church in Povoa de Agracoes near Chaves, Portugal, stands amidst the town’s dwindling population April 19, 2016. 

Portugal's Baby Bust

Over a quarter million babies are born a day, but Portugal isn't contributing much to that number. Since 2008, the country's birth rate has dropped an alarming 14 percent, leaving small and large villages alike bereft of new blood to support a withering population. In northern Portugal, the village of Agracoes provides a terrifying glimpse of what some Portuguese officials, such as Luis Ramos Leite, have warned two-thirds of the country could soon look like: a smattering of retirees living out their last days amidst crumbling infrastructure and a standstill local economy. In Agracoes, the nearest working hospital is hours away and groceries are trucked in once a week. Although Portugal has suffered most acutely, Europe as a whole has seen a dramatic population decline, which its governments have yet to resolve.

More Photo Galleries

Browse All Photo Galleries