European Countries

Spain Population

In 1857 (date of the first official census) the population was 15.5 million residents. During the 19th century. two main trends were at work: industrialization and urban polarization, which concerned in particular the northern regions (Galicia, Basque Country, Catalonia), and emigration towards Latin America; the latter remained constant and sustained until the mid-20th century, only to be replaced by intra-European flows towards France, Germany and Switzerland; since the last decades of the century, Spain has also become a country of immigration. The total population almost doubled within a century (1955: 28.9 million residents), despite the effects of the civil war (1936-39, one million deaths) and further increased by 35% until the 1990s., starting from which it followed demographic trends similar to those of other European countries, recording a strong containment of the average annual growth rate (0.1%), against a birth rate that fell to around 9, 7% and a mortality rate of around 9.9%, and thus moving towards a phase of demographic stationarity. The increase that led the Spanish population to exceed 40,000,000 residents. Morocco and Latin American states.

● According to, the territorial distribution continues to be highly unbalanced, and the data of the average density of the whole Spain, very low compared to the rest of Western Europe, has only a purely indicative value: in fact, it ranges from a minimum density of 9 residents / km2 in the province of Soria (Castilla y León) and 10 in that of Teruel (Aragon) at the highest values ​​(around 600 residents / km2) in the provinces of Vizcaya, Barcelona and Madrid, where it is the presence of large urban centers that determines the densification. Broadly speaking, the traditional divergence between the strictly coastal areas, both Atlantic and Mediterranean, where the greatest densities are recorded (as well as in the province of Madrid and in the two archipelagos), and inland areas, where scattered population is absent, remains clear. and the residents are grouped in more or less conspicuous centers, but generally very sparse.

● Even Spain, like other European countries, has experienced a strong push towards urbanization and, more recently, decongestion phenomena. The urban population exceeded 77% of the total (but the figure is also affected by the centralized population in rural regions, and not only by the growth of large cities) and has concentrated above all in a relatively small number of large agglomerations. The Madrid region is home to almost 6 million residents, distributed in the capital and in a series of centers (Alcalá de Henares, Alcorcón, Getafe, Leganés, Móstoles the main ones) which immediately surround it and which have developed in function of Madrid itself., of its absorption of administrative and productive activities. A similar situation is found for the second city of the Spain, Barcelona, ​​which is today the heart of a much larger conurbation that incorporates the cities of Badalona, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Sabadell, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Terrasa and others, for a total of about 4 million residents. The agglomeration of Bilbao has a smaller size, the fulcrum of a dense alignment of urban centers along the Nervión river and the estuary that extends its mouth into the sea, which overall hosts over 900,000 residents. Relatively monocentric are Valencia and Seville, which also have a densely urbanized immediate area, dotted with medium and small towns, and so, to a greater or lesser extent, Malaga, Murcia, Vigo, Granada, Alicante, Gijón, and La Coruña, while Zaragoza, Valladolid and Cordoba they appear decidedly isolated in rural and sparsely populated regions (but these last three cities are the innermost of those mentioned). The urban framework of the Spain is not resolved in the cities mentioned: another thirty centers are distributed between 100,000 and 200,000 residents, mostly cities with administrative functions. Below this demographic dimension, the urban characteristics dilute rapidly, the centers are rather large villages, in general, but not necessarily, rural, or villages (pueblos), both more sparse in inland areas. After an intense rural exodus fueled the Madrid-Barcelona bipolarity, the other main cities were invested with the function of regional development poles, on which to divert economic initiatives and, consequently, population, in order to rebalance the demographic and productive structure of the country.

● The official language is Castilian, while the languages ​​spoken in regional areas are recognized: Catalan, Basque and Galician. The religion is Catholic, with a small minority of Protestants, Jews and Muslims.

Spain Population