DEMOGRAPHY

Spain to lose a tenth of its population due to falling birth rate

The number of inhabitants will fall this year for the first time since 1971

Spain is set to lose a tenth of its current population in 40 years’ time if current demographic trends are maintained, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said Monday. The downward trend is expected to begin this year, with the number of people in the country poised to fall for the first time since at least 1971.

The INE said the birth rate will fall progressively pushing down the size of the population to 45 million in 2022 from 46 million at present and to 41.5 million in 2052.

The birth rate will drop as a result of a reduction in the number of women of child-bearing age as a result of the female birth-rate crisis in the 1980s and the start of the 1990s. The INE does not expect an increase in the birth rate until 2030 and predicted it would trend lower again from 2040. The number of births forecast for 2021 is 375,159, 20 percent lower than this year. Through to the 2031, 7.7 million births are expected, 9 percent less than over the past 20 years.

Life expectancy is also due to continue trending and will reach an average of 86.9 years for men in 2051 and 90.7 years for women.

The INE’s census also points to a negative migratory balance in Spain this year, with 376,696 immigrants arriving, compared with 558,175 people moving abroad as a result of the ongoing economi8c crisis in Spain. An estimated 5.2 million residents could leave over the next 10 years and 18.1 million through to 2052. This will be offset by an expected influx of 3.9 million over the course of the next 10 years and 16.7 million in 40 years, mostly from the European Union, South America and Africa.

The south of Spain and islands are the only areas expected to experience population growth. Murcia, Andalusia, and the Balearic and Canary Islands along with the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla will see increase in the number of inhabitants. The areas that will see the biggest depletion in their populations are Galicia, Castilla y León, Asturias, the Basque Country, Aragon, Extremadura, Cantabria and la Rioja.