It had not happened since the first half of 2016, that is, 5 years ago.
The resident population in Spain decreased by 72,007 people in the first half of 2021. On July 1, the country had 47,326,687 inhabitants, 0.06% less than the previous year the same date, according to the latest figures released by the Spanish statistical office (INE).
The statistical agency explains that the causes of this decline must be found in two factors: on the one hand, the low number of births, and on the other, the net migratory loss.
Between January and June 2021, there were 157,184 births, compared to 227,920 deaths, which left a negative balance of 70,736 people. And the migratory balance was also negative, although to a lesser extent: 201,638 people came to live in Spain, compared to 202,004 who left the country bound abroad, which caused a net loss of 366 people.
The population decrease registered in the first half of 2021 affected both people of Spanish nationality and foreigners, although it was a little more accentuated among the latter.
Acquisition of Spanish nationality
The number of resident foreigners fell by 42,364 people during the first semester, to a total of 5,325,907 as of 1 July 2021.
The good news is that the number of foreigners did not decrease because they left. Quite the opposite. This decrease responded, in its entirety, to the granting of Spanish nationality (which benefited 68,282 people, according to provisional data).
Among the people of foreign origin, both the natural balance (17,739) and the migratory balance (8,376) were positive, according to the INE. The migratory balance among foreigners continued to be positive. However, the positive trend is weaker since 2019.
The population of Spanish nationality, on the other hand, was reduced by 29,643 people. This was the result of a negative natural population growth balance (88,475 fewer births than deaths), coupled with a also negative migratory balance (of 8,742), which were not compensated with the acquisitions of Spanish nationality.
In the case of Spaniards born in Spain, the population fell by 81,367 people throughout the first half of 2021.
Among the main nationalities, the greatest population decreases occurred among the Romanian population (18,579 fewer people), Moroccan (8,113 fewer) and Ecuadorian (4,248 fewer).
The largest increases were recorded among nationals of Italy (6,742 residents more), the United Kingdom (6,302 more) and France (2,499 more).