In 2012, Spain’s population fell for the first time since the official government census began in 1857.
206,000 residents left the country, bringing the population down to 47.1 million. Almost all of this entire figure is made up of registered foreign residents.
The biggest falls occurred among residents from Colombia and Ecuador.
The figure may be much larger as it does not account for the many Spaniards who have left the country for work but are still on the census.
The numbers in the two biggest immigrant groups in the country, Romanians and Moroccans, fell too.
“There was extraordinary growth (in immigrants) from 2000 to 2009, which is reversing quickly due to the economic crisis,” Albert Esteve of the Barcelona Centre for Demographic Studies explains.
Spain is becoming unattractive due to the lack of employment prospects. For example, youth unemployment currently stands at 50%.