In the first half of 2013 the population of Spain dropped by 118,238 people and stood at 46,609,652 inhabitants to 1st July, 2013. In addition, around 40,000 Spaniards went abroad, representing an increase of 71% over the previous quarter, according to data provided last week by the National Statistics Institute.
The population decline was the result of a positive natural increase (births minus deaths) of 6,678 persons, and a negative net migration of 124,915 people during the first six months of the year (134,312 immigrating from abroad against 259,227 emigrating to destinations abroad).
This new population decline confirms a trend that began in 2012. Thus, in annual terms, compared to 1st July 2012, the population fell by 0.3%, while six months ago it dropped at a rate of 0.19% year-on-year.
Most regions experienced a loss of inhabitants during the first half of 2013. The regions to experience the largest relative decreases, according to the Institute’s data, were La Rioja, where the population fell by 0.7%, Castilla-La Mancha (-0.5%), Castilla y León (-0.4%), and the autonomous city of Melilla (-0.4%). However, population growth was registered in the Balearic Islands (+0.46%), the Canary Islands (+0.23%) and Murcia (+0.07%).
El Economista reported that the number of foreigners in Spain also fell by 4% due mainly to emigration and the acquisition of Spanish nationality, and stood at a total of 4,870,487 at 1st July 2013. Spain, however, continues to receive foreign immigrants, lead by the Moroccans, with 11,253 arrivals during the first half of 2013, Romanians (10,471 arrivals) and the British (6,875), although 37,018 Romanians and 27,362 Moroccans returned to their own countries.
During 2012, the resident population in Spain decreased by 90,326 people. However, the population of people with Spanish nationality grew by 73,024 due to the acquisition of Spanish citizenship.