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Spanish population declines for first time on record

Spanish population growth curve declines in 2013
Spanish population, Source: INE

The Spanish population declined by 114,000 people last year to 46,704,314, mainly due to emigration in the crucial 25-44 yrs age group. That is not good news for the housing market.

That’s the first time the population has declined since records began in 1971.

In 2012, immigration was 314,358, whilst 476,748 left Spain, with a net decline of around 114,000 people, according to the latest stats from the NIE.

A declining population means fewer workers to pay national bills like pensions, social security, national health, and all those other yummy things we have come to expect as citizens of a modern society. It also means higher debts per capita, a higher national debt / GDP ratio, and fewer people to buy homes. There is nothing good about this news.

Sooner or later, a declining population feeds through into lower demand for housing, which regular readers will know is the last thing Spain needs right now.

The only consolation, if there is one, is this won’t have much effect on the market for homes in the most sought-after destinations on the coast, where demand is internationally diversified and growing. In the short term I expect international demand to continue growing in response to lower Spanish property prices.


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