Spain through the looking glass

Spain’s population set to decline

with 4 comments

Aging, shrinking and leaving: that’s the grim prognosis for Spain’s population in the coming decades.

Spain’s population is set to fall this year for the first time since at least 1971 in what could be a harbinger of things to come.

If current trends play out, Spain’s total population will slim down by 2.5 per cent from the current 46 million to just 45 million in a decade’s time and that number will only be around 41.5 million, or a full 10 per cent lower, by 2052.

That’s according to the ‘Short-term population projections’ report released yesterday by Spain’s national stats office, the INE.

Emigration, an aging population, a falling birth rate and fewer women of childbearing age are all causes for this likely fall in total numbers in the country, the report says.

The stats bureau predicts 20 per cent fewer babies will be born in the country in 2021 than in the last twelve months. They also predict that the next 40 years will see just 14.6 million babies born in Spain; that’s 25 per cent less than the figure for the last 40 years.

Meanwhile, Spaniards will live longer with life expectancy hitting 86.9 years for men and 90.7 years for women by 2052. By the middle of this century, 7.2 million Spaniards, or a huge 37 per cent of the population will be older than 64.

Most worrying, if things continue as they are, Spain’s dependency rate will hit a staggering 58 per cent. This means for every 10 people working in Spain, there could be nearly 6 ‘inactive’ people (people younger than 16 or older than 64).

Migration isn’t going to help much either. Just under 377,000 foreigners arrived in Spain last year but that has to be set against the almost 560,000 people who packed up their bags and left. That’s a tick under 10 per cent higher than the numbers for those who walked out the door in 2011.

The INE predicts that mass migration into Spain will continue; the country is set to welcome nearly 5 million migrants in the next decade. Over 1.2 million of these will arrive from within the European Union while South America (901,300 immigrants to Spain from 2012 to 2021) and Africa (630,575) will also play an important role in this trend.

But despite this influx of new residents, very few parts of Spain look set to experience population growth in the coming decade. The only exceptions to the rule are the southern provinces of Andalusia and Murcia, the two Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta in Africa and the Balearic and Canary Islands.


Written by georgemills25

November 20, 2012 at 10:52

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

4 Responses

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  1. Great article ,very interesting ….we should have to set up our pensions when we were 25 ..if only we could see the future


    November 20, 2012 at 13:21

    • Strangely enough, I had a pension when I was 25. Then when I was 28, I lost the plot and decided I couldn’t work in an office anymore. Ah, the foolhardiness of youth!


      November 21, 2012 at 11:26

  2. I love your articles and keep them coming.Living in Spain I hunger for other stories about life here and aim to eventually help all local communities better the situation.regards Jason,”z”….


    November 20, 2012 at 23:48

    • Hi. Thanks for the comment. It’s really great to know that people are reading and appreciate the articles. I promise to now take the time out and have a good read through your own blog.

      All the best,


      November 21, 2012 at 11:22

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