Spain’s population breaks 47 million mark thanks to immigration

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© flickr by Karl Baron
NEW ARRIVALS: Immigrants are boosting Spain's population.

THE population of Spain has broken the 47 million mark for the first time, thanks to immigration.

Without incomers the population would have fallen by 45,002 as deaths exceeded births, but a net immigration figure of 209,097 pushed the Spanish population total to 47,100,396 inhabitants.

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This was refelected in the numbers of foreigners living in the country which reached 5,023,279 by July 1, 2019, the date for which latest figures are available.

The number of Spaniards born in Spain decreased by 63,447 throughout the first half of 2019.

Among the main nationalities, the greatest increases occurred in the Colombian population (27,920 more people), Venezuelan (24,238 more) and Moroccan (20,627 more). On the other hand, only Ecuadorian (-1,651) and the Romanian population (-964) decreased.


In relative terms, the highest growth was for nationals of Venezuela (18.1%), Honduras (15.4%) and Colombia (14.0%).

And the lowest growth was for nationals of Ecuador (-1.2%), Romania (-0.1%) and Bulgaria (0.1%).


The migration balance in Spain with foreign countries was positive by 209,097 people in the first half of 2019. It is the highest value for a first semester of the series, which started in 2008.

A total of 348,625 persons from abroad established their residence in the country (21.8% more than in the first half of 2018), while 139,528 people left Spain for a foreign country (17.5% fewer).

Of all the immigrants coming from foreign countries, 309,874 had a foreign nationality (88.9%), while 38,751 were Spaniards returning (11.1%).

As for emigration, 104,196 departures were made by foreigners (74.7%) and 35,332 by Spaniards (25.3%). Of the latter, 23,956 people were born in Spain.

The most frequent nationalities according to the number of emigrants were Romanian (16,525 departures), Moroccan (9,396) and British (6,049). Those three nationalities are the most numerous ones among the foreigner population.

The Spanish passport holders that arrived in Spain in the first half of the year came mainly from Venezuela (6,487 people), the United Kingdom (2,883) and Ecuador (2,853).

On the other hand, the largest recipients of Spanish emigrants were the United Kingdom (8,310 persons), France (4,235) and Germany (3,258).

Out of the 139,528 people who left the country during the first semester of 2019, 18.5% had always lived in Spain. The 81.5% remaining had lived in a foreign country previously.

Among the foreign nationalities that migrated the most during the first half of 2019, different behaviour were observed.

This way, out of the 16,525 Romanians who migrated, the highest number of entries was registered in 2007. On the other hand, out of the 9,393 Moroccans who migrated, the majority had arrived at Spain in more recent years (2016 and 2017). Lastly, out of the 6,049 British who migrated in the same period, the majority had arrived at Spain between 2004 and 2006, as well as in 2016.

All the Autonomous Communities showed a positive international migration balance in the first half of 2019. The highest balances were in Cataluña (47,119), Comunidad de Madrid (40,539) and Comunitat Valenciana (27,162). On the other hand, the Autonomous Communities with the lowest migratory balances were Extremadura (976), La Rioja (1,086) and Cantabria.




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