Spain's population hits record 47 million for the first time thanks to immigration

The Local Spain
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Spain's population hits record 47 million for the first time thanks to immigration
In 2019 Spain saw its biggest population increase since 2008.Photo: AFP

Spain's resident population grew by almost 400,000 in 2019, an increase stemming from immigration which counteracts the issue of the country's ageing local population.


Spain’s population increased by 392,921 people during 2019 and stood for the first time above the milestone of 47 million inhabitants (47,329,981 to be exact.)

The provisional figures from Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) are linked to the arrival of 748,759 immigrants, which offset the negative balance of the country’s low national birth rate and high elderly population.

The annual growth is the highest since 2008 when the population increased by 570,333 people.

2019’s natural increase is due to a positive migratory balance of 451,391 people, which compensated the negative balance of 57,146 people who left Spain or passed away.

According to INE’s data, Spain’s annual population growth rate went from 0.60 percent in 2018 to 0.84 percent in 2019.

The country continues to be the EU's fourth most populated behind Germany (81.1 million), France (65.3 million) and Italy (60.7 million).

Fourteen of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities saw their population grow in the past year, except for Extremadura, Asturias and Castilla y León.


The greatest population increases occurred in the Balearic Islands (1.90 percent), Madrid (1.59 percent) and the Canary Islands (1.38 percent).

Spain’s resident foreign population now stands at 5,2 million.

As for Spanish nationals who were born in Spain, this population group decreased by 97,930 people in 2019.

Among the greatest population increases by nationality in Spain are the Colombian population (62,355 more), Venezuelan (53,288) and Moroccan (47,346), while the most important decreases were among Romanians (-3,250), Ecuadorians (-1,769) and Bulgarians (-389).

A total of 297,368 people left Spain in 2019 according to INE.

In terms of foreigners who left Spain in 2019, the highest number by nationality were Romanian (35,618 departures), Moroccan (18,628) and British (12,815).

The countries that received the most Spanish migrants in 2019 were the United Kingdom (18,305 people), France (9,293) and the United States (6,290). 



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