Spain’s population fell by 106,000 in 2020

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Spain's population fell by 106,000 in 2020

Spain’s population fell by 106,000 in 2020.

THE fall in the first year of the pandemic is the largest population decrease between January to January since 2015, according to data published by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).

While the number of Spaniards has fallen by almost 80,000 people (a decrease of 0.2 per cent) in 2020, the number of foreigners has fallen by more than 26,000 (down 0.5 per cent), after taking three years to rise.

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As of January 1, 2021, Spain has a population of 47,344,649 people – 5,407,822 of which are expats.

The Community of Madrid has seen the biggest population decrease with 34,297, followed by Catalonia with 23.551 less people and Castilla y Leon which has recorded a drop of 13,637 inhabitants.

Diego Ramiro, director of the Institute of Economy, Geography and Demography of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), told El Pais that the data shows “an interruption of continuous growth during the last four years due to a very serious event, such as a pandemic, which has caused a disruption of all aspects of society; from a traumatic situation of the health and health system, which has caused high mortality, even in the individual movement, with the closing of borders”.


On the flip side, Murcia has seen a population increase of 6,687, with Castilla-La Mancha and Cantabria also recording a rise of 2,571 and 1,403 people respectively.

The largest population declines among foreigners during 2020 were from Bolivia (down 8.6 per cent), Ecuador (–5.9), Romania (–4.2), Bulgaria (–4.2 ) and Brazil (–3.9).

While in contrast, the biggest increases were from the UK (+6.5 per cent), Colombia (+6.2), Honduras (+5.7), Venezuela (+4.5) and Peru (+4.2).


The data also shows that 19.7 per cent of the registered population in Spain is currently 65 or over – up from 16.8 per cent in 2010 – and the average age currently stands at 44-years-old.

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Tara Rippin
Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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