Population decline: Foreign migrants compensate for low birth rate

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population decline

MADRID: Covid pandemic causes largest native Spanish population decline since the Civil War 

In the first six months of 2020, incoming migrants compensated for the decline in the Spanish population. The covid pandemic and Spanish emigration led to the largest native population decline since the Civil War. 

The number of people registered in Spain remained virtually the same in the first half of 2020. This is despite an extremely large number of migrants coming to Spain and a high death rate during the Covid pandemic. On average, the number of death rates increased in 2020 due to the pandemic. The birth rate also dropped in 2020.  

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Spain’s population remains at 47.3million  

The population in Spain on January 1, 2020 was 47.3million. The NationalInstitute of Statistics (INE) in Spain reports that in the first half of 2020, 167,559 babies were born and 261,616 people died. During the first six months, 245,301 people came to live in Spain from abroad and 131,445 people moved abroad. The net movement means the population as of 1 July 2020 remains at the 47.3million mark. 

The lagging birth rate and accelerated mortality rate caused by the pandemic has been negated by immigration. The majority of migrants entereing Spain have come from Colombia (27,931 people), Venezuela (17,043 people) and Morocco (10,968 people). 

Population decline and growth are not the same in all Spanish regions 

In eleven of the Spanish autonomous regionsthe population grew in 2020.  The largest area of population increase were in the Balearic Islands (+0.37%), the Canary Islands (+0.33%) and Murcia (+0.28%). Population declined in the other six  regions. The largest decrease was in Castile and León (-0.42% and Asturias (-0.34%). 

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