A RECORD level of Spanish citizens leaving the country to seek work abroad has been reached in the first half of 2015 as positive economic news failed to temper a continuing exodus.
An estimated 50,844 Spanish citizens left the country from January to June this year, up 30 per cent from the same period in 2014, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). The number thus far is higher than in all of 2010 in the height of the financial crisis, when just over 40,000 left for other countries.
Conversely foreign nationals living in Spain left at a much lower rate than in previous years, having been twice as high in 2013, with 134,762 deciding to leave compared with 233,320 in 2013. An additional 134,143 foreign citizens arrived in the first half of the year, primarily from Italy, Romania and Morocco, providing a net figure of over 20,000 new foreigners making Spain their home.
Other figures released by the report indicate further demographic concerns for the country, with a declining population and a higher number of deaths than births for the first time since the civil war. The fertility rate is low, while the population is aging. With 23,078 Spanish citizens returning to the country after some time abroad, however, the levels of immigration and emigration have never been so balanced.