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Only 10'000 Native Spaniards Born in 2012 : INE

Wed 18th Dec 2013
Only 10'000 Native Spaniards Born in 2012 : INE

According to a recently published report by by Spain's The National Statistics Institute (INE) titled "Projections for the Spanish Population 2013-23", by 2017, the country will have seen an estimated 397,714 births and 404,054 deaths.

In other words - and leaving aside immigration and emigration - the population of the country is facing a significant decline.

With the population shrinking by an estimated 206,000 people last year, to 47.1 million, and with thousands of foreign residents choosing to return to their home country to find work, matters are not helped by the fact that Spain also has one of the EU's lowest birth rates.

Spain has a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 1.48 children per woman, below the 2.1 level generally quoted by experts in order for a country to keep it's population stable. Only 10,000 native Spaniards were born in 2012.

Statistics represent population growth across all European Countries show that 90% of all positive figures are due to immigration, according to a recent report in El Pais. The article went on to note how between 2002 and 2008, immigrants accounted for 75% of Spain's population growth (3.3 million). Since 1990, the immigrant population has increased 772% from 2% of the population to 14%. In actual terms this equates to an increase from 829,000 to 6.4 million.

The largest population growth is from Romanian, Moroccan, and South American citizens, however there is also a worrying trend in the growth in numbers of illegal immigrants from African countries.

Furthermore, the INE estimates that an additional 2.6 million Spaniards will emigrate from the country - most of them young people of childbearing age in search of employment - further shrinking the population and adding further stress to an already aging population.

However the RAND Corporation, an American non-profit body which analyses population trends, goes one step further in suggesting a cause of the country's current shift in population : "A generation ago (in 1971), Spain's fertility was among the highest in Europe. The dramatic decline in fertility since then is associated with a shift from the pronatalist [Generalissimo Francisco] Franco regime - which banned contraception and encouraged large families - to a democratic regime that has no explicit population policy."

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