Sparsely Populated Spain Lost Half Of Its Economy And Labor Force In 70 Years

2021-02-14   |   by CusiGO

Sergio del Molino published his book La Espa NIA Espa NIA Espa NIA EMPA NIA in 2016. This article has become a reference and its title has been placed in a common vocabulary to describe the areas affected by the continuous population bloodshed. The decrease of population has brought about several problems: the decrease of activities, the decrease of services and the imbalance between generations. Funcas released figures on the impact of this phenomenon: in the past 70 years, the proportion of population, economy and labor force in Spain’s 23 inland provinces has dropped by half.

Since the beginning of the last century, Spain’s population has more than doubled to 47 million. Nevertheless, its density (93 people per square kilometer) is lower than the European average and that of neighboring countries such as France and Italy. In addition, there is a huge gap between the provinces. According to the Ministry of ecological transition and population challenges, 90% of residents are concentrated in 30% of the country. Since the middle of the 20th century, the remaining 70% of the territory has suffered a serious population outflow, leaving it with 10% of the population and a huge challenge: survival.

Nearly half of Spain’s towns now have a population density of less than 12.5 people per square kilometer, a threshold set by the European Union to identify areas at risk of population reduction. Provincial capitals and towns with a population of more than 50000. Castilla and Leon are the majority, with nine provinces: Avila, Burgos, Leon, Valencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Samora. There are also three aragonites: husca, truel and Zaragoza; albacet, Royal City, kunka and Guadalajara in Castilla ramacha; badahos and caseres in estema dura; Lugo and urans in Galicia; Cordoba and Jan in Andalusia; and larioha. They all have two things in common: they lost their residents between 1950 and 2019, and the population density last year was lower than the national average.

The conclusion is very convincing. In 1950, these 23 provinces accounted for 34.1% of the total population and created 26.7% of the total added value, accounting for 33.5% of the national employment. 70 years later, these variables have shrunk: now they account for 18.1% of the population and 17% of the employment. Almost half. They account for 16.1% of the total added value. The evolution of GDP in the past 70 years reflects this: the average annual growth rate of seven provinces since 1950 is almost 1 percentage point lower than the national average, and the average annual growth rate of seven provinces is more than 1 percentage point lower than the national average.

Nevertheless, the per capita income gap with the rest of Spain has been narrowing, though not always due to improved activity. Eduardo bandr é s and Vanessa AZ ó n, professors at the University of Zaragoza and authors of the study, explained: “an important part of this convergence is due to migration flows, and it’s not the provinces with the worst indicators, such as the provinces with the highest unemployment rate. But it’s true that population reduction can also lead to economic instability. ”

The population and economic decline in the interior of Spain began in the 1950s and accelerated in the following 20 years, with large numbers of people fleeing from the countryside to the cities in search of better opportunities. This process lasted until 1991, with less intensity, but gradually aging population. During this period, the towns under study lost 36.3% of their population, while comparable cities in other regions increased their population, showing some stability in the 1990s, and then improved slightly in the 2000s due to the arrival of foreigners, which was interrupted by the financial crisis.

The snapshots leaving the process are uneven. The study divided 23 provinces into three groups. Spain, with a declining population, has the worst population balance and employment has been seriously damaged, but its performance in other economic indicators is not poor. It includes 11 provinces, such as Soria, uluns or truel. The stagnant southern provinces of Spain have low aging degree, low income level and heavy agricultural burden. Returning to Spain is the best place to stay: it includes benefiting from cities near the capital, such as Guadalajara, or having thriving provincial capitals, such as Valladolid or Zaragoza.

“In this study, we didn’t make recommendations, but obviously different policies are needed,” bandr é s said. There are places where services have to be guaranteed, although the situation is irreversible: they will disappear. “