The population in Spain has increased by 136,916 people in the first quarter of 2023, but this gain is exclusively due to the fact that the number of foreigners grew by 149,530 people from December 31 to April 1, while the Spanish population decreased by 12,614 people, according to the Continuous Population Statistics published this Tuesday by the INE.

This means that in these first three months of the year, Spain lost 140 native citizens and gained 1,661 foreigners every day, bringing the total population of the country to 48.19 million inhabitants, of which 6.22 million are from foreign origin. In the last twelve months, the estimated population growth is 590,184 people, the highest since 2008.

It must be taken into account, however, that although the number of foreigners is 6.22 million, in reality 8.3 million people born in other countries reside in Spain, since more than two million have undergone processes of nationalization, specifies the INE.

This substantial increase in the foreign population was not caused by a strong increase in births compared to deaths, that is, naturally, but rather responded to the arrival of immigrants, mainly Colombians (44,300 arrived in the first quarter), Moroccans (23,200 ) and Venezuelans (21,500).

They were followed in arrivals by Peruvians (with 18,800 more citizens), Spaniards who returned from other countries (18,400), Ukrainians (11,500 in the first three months of the year), Italians (10,200), Hondurans (10,100), Argentines (8,600) and Romanians (7,100).

However, there was also a departure of citizens to other countries, mainly Spaniards (-11,500), who emigrated to other countries -usually in search of better job opportunities-; Moroccans who returned to their country of origin (-8,400); Romanians (-7,700); Colombians (-5,400) and British (-3,800).

During the first quarter of 2023 it is estimated that the population grew in 15 of the 17 autonomous communities and only decreased in Extremadura (-0.07%), Galicia (-0.00%), Ceuta (-0.06%) and Melilla (-0.12%). The Community of Madrid was the one that registered the greatest increase in population (0.6%), followed by the Valencian Community (0.54%) and Catalonia (0.46%), all three above the national average, of 0.28%.

By age groups, in absolute terms the largest population increase occurred among young people between 20 and 24 years old -where there was an increase of 28,348 people-; followed by those between 65 and 69 years old -who grew by 23,181 people-; and those between 15 and 19 years old, which increased by 22,197 people.

There are important differences based on nationality, since the Spanish population mainly lost children and young people, while its adult population increased due to ageing; while foreigners increased mainly in young people.

Thus, while the country lost 44,556 children under 14 of Spanish origin, it gained 22,385 foreign children in the first quarter; in the 25 to 35 age group, the number of Spaniards grew by 20,556 people while the number of foreigners more than doubled (by 58,160 people); in the 35 to 65 age group, the number of Spaniards fell by 25,959 people and that of foreigners grew by 59,743; and only in those over 65 years of age was the gain higher among Spaniards (37,345 compared to 9,242 foreigners).

According to the criteria of The Trust Project