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Spain’s Population Growth in 2021 Driven Exclusively by Foreigners by Robert Semonsen

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Spain’s Population Growth in 2021 Driven Exclusively by Foreigners

Statistics published by the Spanish government’s official statistical agency, the National Institute of Statistics (INE), last week revealed that Spain’s population growth in 2021—like that which was seen in Austria—was fueled exclusively by an influx of foreigners.

While the number of Spaniards decreased by nearly 22,000 in 2021, compared to a drop of nearly 80,000 the previous year, the number of foreigners grew by 72,410, resulting in a net population growth of about 50,500, the Madrid-based El Mundo reports.

At present, of the nearly 47.5 million people living in the county, the number of those with Spanish nationality remains under 42 million (88.4%), while the number of foreign nationals has now surpassed 5.5 million (11.6%), up from the 5.4 million (11.4%) recorded in January of 2020.

Of the 50 provinces that make up Spain, foreign populations increased the most in Almería, Gerona, and Alicante, likely due to their positioning along the country’s southeastern Mediterranean coastline, which sits in close proximity to the North African coastlines of Morocco and Algeria. As a consequence of the high rate of immigration witnessed last year—and in years past—the foreign-born population living in each of the three provinces now exceeds 20%.

As The European Conservative has previously reported, the Spanish birthrate in 2021 dropped by a dramatic five percent, bringing the number of newly born children to its lowest figure since the Spanish government began recording figures 80 years ago. Spain, like its Southern Mediterranean neighbor Italy, has consistently recorded some of the lowest birth rates in Europe and the world.

In 2020, the average number of children birthed per woman in Spain fell to 1.19, well below the 2.1 births per woman required for a given population to replace itself. It’s been more than 40 years since Spain recorded a birthrate above replacement levels.

Regarding Europe’s collective demographic crisis—and the means by which to solve it—the choice between natalism and immigration continues to be a highly contentious and divisive topic, with Left and Right liberal-globalists opting for the latter, while patriotic, sovereignist parties insist on the former.

Although countries like Hungary and Poland have implemented policies that favor natalism, the two Visegrád countries are undoubtedly outliers within the European Union, with the vast majority of states in the bloc favoring policies that promote replacement migration.

In a research article titled: “On the contribution of foreign-born populations to overall population change in Europe: Methodological insights and contemporary evidence for 31 European countries,” published in the peer-reviewed journal Demographic Research earlier this yearChristo Bagavos—via statistical analysis of births, deaths, and net migration—concluded that between 2014 and 2019, foreign-born populations were the driving force behind overall population growth on the Continent.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.

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