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Spain official population fell in 2012, first time since 1946 because of the recession

Tuesday, April 23rd 2013 - 06:38 UTC
Full article 13 comments
Long queues at employment insurance offices are common sight in Spanish cities  Long queues at employment insurance offices are common sight in Spanish cities

Spain's official population fell last year for the first time since the 1940s as immigrants fled a five-year on-and-off recession that has sent unemployment soaring. The number of residents fell by 206,000 to 47.1 million, the National Statistics Institute said on Monday.

It was the first time a population drop had been recorded in official statistics since 1946, in the aftermath of Spain's civil war, although until 1998 figures were published roughly every decade, rather than annually.

Spain and the rest of Southern Europe are suffering twin economic and fiscal crises.

During a long economic boom that ended abruptly in 2008, Spanish-speaking immigrants from Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia flocked to Spain to work in construction. Between 2000 and 2010, the immigrant population swelled from 924,000 to 5.7 million.

But building has come to a standstill since a housing bubble burst, and a government spending squeeze to try to meet strict deficit cutting targets imposed by Brussels has further strained the economy. As the unemployment rate has soared to 26%, over 55% among the 18/28 age group, many immigrants have returned home.

The biggest fall in registered foreign residents was among South Americans, especially Ecuadoreans and Colombians, the statistics agency said.

”There was extraordinary growth (in immigrants) from 2000 to 2009, which is reversing quickly due to the economic crisis,“ demographer Albert Esteve of the Barcelona Centre for Demographic Studies told Spain National Radio.

”Spain is less attractive because there are no jobs”.

Spain's two largest groups of immigrants, Romanians and Moroccans, both shrank last year.

Not only are immigrants returning home; many Spaniards are also leaving to look for work abroad. The population of native Spaniards grew last year by 10,000, a smaller increase than in recent years, only minimally offsetting a fell of 216,000 in the number of registered foreigners.

For the highly qualified or specific trades Germany has become a major magnet for Spaniards, while a growing number are looking for better job opportunities in South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Peru) and Mexico.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Brazilian


    Apr 23rd, 2013 - 01:34 pm 0
  • ChrisR


    You should never laugh at other peoples misfortunes, unless it is the argies because they work so hard to screw everything up.

    And Brasil has its own problems with no-one actually setting the finance strategy of the country. Or if they are it is the wrong strategy, perhaps that's why they keep it under wraps.

    The only other comparable situation is the mythical “model” operated by TMBOA, but no-one has the balls to tell her the rubber band has broken and the model is crashing.

    I know you don't believe me, but I bet I am nearer reality than you and you LIVE THERE”

    Apr 23rd, 2013 - 07:46 pm 0
  • warteiner

    So ChrisR, is you mommy still wearing that wig and work at night on Lincoln road in Peterborough doing what we all know that she do? LOL

    Apr 23rd, 2013 - 08:16 pm 0
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