More and more villages with less than 100 inhabitants in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
less than 100 inhabitants

The number of municipalities in Spain with less than 100 inhabitants has increased by more than 47% over the past 20 years. In 2021 there were 1,379 municipalities compared to 934 in 2001. This is according to data on historical development published by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE). 

On its website, the INE publishes a series of historical developments relating, among other things, to the number of municipalities and their population. This month, the latest data for the year 2021 was published. 

In the historical series of the last two decades, the number of municipalities with less than 100 inhabitants has shown growth. However, this was only limited to the years 2006, 2010, and 2019. 

The provinces of Guadalajara (176), Burgos (164), and Soria (119) are the counties with the most municipalities with less than one hundred inhabitants in 2021. This continues the line of the last 20 years.  

In contrast, there are 20 provinces that had no municipalities with 100 inhabitants or less in 2021. These regions are;

Cogesa Expats
  • Asturias
  • Álava
  • Balearic Islands
  • Vizcaya
  • Cadiz
  • Córdoba
  • La Coruña
  • Gipuzkoa
  • Granada
  • Jaén
  • Lugo
  • Málaga
  • Murcia
  • Ourense
  • Las Palmas
  • Pontevedra
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Sevilla
  • Ceuta
  • Melilla

Also fewer and fewer villages with less than 5,000 inhabitants  

The INE also breaks down the data by municipalities with 100 to 5,000 inhabitants. The number of municipalities of this size has decreased by 9% over the past 20 years, from 2,883 in 2001 to 2,614 in 2021. 

Municipalities with 501 to 1,000 inhabitants have decreased by 10.9% in the last 20 years, from 1,127 in 2001 to 1,004 in the latest INE register, in 2021. 

The number of municipalities with 1,001 to 2,000 inhabitants has also decreased (by 12.7%), the number of villages with 2,001 to 3,000 inhabitants (by 8.8%) and the number of municipalities with 3,001 to 5,000 inhabitants (by 1.8%). 

Also read: Empty Spain

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