Why is Spain's population decreasing?

According to Spain's official national statistics, the country's population in Jan-16 was 46.4m (provisional) and has been decreasing since 2012. In the first half of 2015, the death rate exceeded the birth rate.

The main reasons for the declining population in Spain relate to emigration in search of work and the decreasing birth rate as a consequence of the economic climate and certain cultural norms in the country:

  • Economic woes: high unemployment levels and low wages
  • Couples are staying at home for longer
  • Low levels of government incentives and support
  • Cultural norms: in the main, women are expected to maintain children and the household.

The total fertility rate in a specific year is defined as the total number of children that would be born to each woman if she were to live to the end of her child-bearing years and give birth to children in alignment with the prevailing age-specific fertility rates. It is calculated by totalling the age-specific fertility rates as defined over five-year intervals.

Source: OECD (2016), Fertility rates (indicator). doi: 10.1787/8272fb01-en


An ageing population

Source: Wikimedia    

Source: Wikimedia


A decreasing working age population

The working age population is defined as those aged 15 to 64. The basic indicator for employment is the proportion of the working age population aged 15-64 who are employed.

Source: OECD (2016), Working age population (indicator). doi: 10.1787/d339918b-en


Image credit: Wikipedia, Susana Freixeiro