The population has risen in most parts of the country. / sur

Population of Spain has risen to over 47.5 million this year

The figures show that 478,990 immigrants arrived in Spain this year, which is the highest number in at least a decade

ALFONSO TORICES MADRID.

Earlier this year the population of Spain reached 47.5 million, mainly due to a massive increase in the first six months, overcoming the demographic slowdown which had occurred during the first two years of the Covid pandemic.

Provisional figures for the population as at 1 July this year have just been issued by the National Institute of Statistics and they show that growth had returned to normal levels, in which the country gains half a million inhabitants every three years.

The figures indicate that the number of inhabitants had risen to 47,615,034, after an increase of 182,141 in the first six months. The rise was mainly due to a massive influx of foreign immigrants which more than made up for the negative vegetative balance (far more deaths than births).

This means that 2022 is the seventh consecutive year in which Spain has gained population, after a four-year gap between 2012 and 2016 when the country lost nearly half a million inhabitants due to migration during the economic crisis.

The figures show that 478,990 immigrants arrived in Spain this year, which is the highest number in at least a decade. Immigration has been particularly important since 2015, when for the first time in many years the number of deaths exceeded the number of births. For the past three years the birth rate has been the lowest since records began to be kept in 1941.

Foreigners account for 11.7%

As at 1 July, 5,579,947 foreigners were registered as living in Spain, 172,456 more than a year previously. They account for 11.7% of the population, although that figure does not take into account the more than two million nationalised Spanish who were born in a different country.

Of the new arrivals, the largest numbers were from Colombia (60,142), Ukraine (48,396 came in the first four months after the Russian invasion), Venezuela (31,703) and Peru (23,756). The foreigners who left Spain in the largest numbers were Rumanians (11,751), British (8,381) and Chinese (5,058).

The population increased in most of Spain in the first half of 2022. The only exceptions were Castilla y León, Asturias, Extremadura, Ceuta and Melilla.

The biggest increase in numbers were in Madrid, where the population increased by 0.82%, Balearics (0.68%), Valencia (0.66%) and Murcia (0.57%). The number of inhabitants also rose by more than average in the Canary Islands, Navarra, Catalonia and Castilla-La Mancha.