Spain bids farewell to thousands of inhabitants

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PRESUMABLY discouraged by the lack of opportunities in sunny Spain, thousands of Spaniards and foreign residents are leaving the country and decreasing its population by the minute.
For the third consecutive year, Spain’s population has decreased, and now sits around 46.4 million inhabitants, according to the latest data for January 2015 from the Migration Statistics department of the National Statistics Institute (INE). It’s a drop of 72,335 residents compared to the same month in 2014.
In 2014, 330,559 immigrants left Spain and 265,757 entered the country, leaving a negative result (-64,802). The total foreign population currently resident in Spain is almost 4.5 million people.
In relative terms however, the population decrease is slowing, dropping 0.16 per cent in 2014, and 0.46 per cent in 2013.
However, figures also show that of migrants choosing to stay in Spain, more and more are embracing Spanish citizenship. The report shows that the number of Spanish residents increased by 156,872 people, while the number of foreigners decreased by 229,207, although rather than people leaving, most of this was due to migrants being granted Spanish nationality, who amounted to 205,870 last year.
“The usual number of naturalisations per year is around 100,000, but last year it was doubled due to the special plan of the Justice Ministry to solve some significant obstructions to nationality. Without them, there would be 50,000 fewer Spanish nationals and the reduction of immigrants in the lists would have been quite small,” said sociology professor Joaquin Arango.

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