Spain's population nears 47 million: statistics office

29th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

Spain's population has grown to just under 47 million, of which 5.7 million are foreigners, mainly from Romania, Morocco, Ecuador and Britain, the national statistics institute INE said Thursday.

As of January 1, there were 46,951,532 residents in Spain, an increase of 0.4 percent over the same time last year, it said in a statement.

The number of foreigners rose to 5,708,940, a rise of 1.1 percent from the previous year, with 41 percent coming from other European Union nations.

Foreigners accounted for 12.2 percent of Spain's total population compared to 11.3 percent in the same period a year ago.

Romanians make up Spain's largest foreign community with 829,715 members, up 3.9 percent, followed by Moroccans with 746,760 members, up 4.0 percent, and Ecuadorians with 395,069, down 6.3 percent.

The British make up Spain's fourth largest foreign community with 387,226 members, an increase of 3.1 percent over the previous year.

Traditionally a nation that sent immigrants abroad, Spain has seen the number of foreigners living within its borders take off since 1996 when immigrants living in the country stood at around half a million.

But the flow of immigration to the country has slowed since Spain entered into its worst recession in decades at the end of 2008 as the global credit crisis hastened a correction already underway in its key property sector.

© 2010 AFP

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