The resident population in Spain increased by 136,916 people in the first quarter of 2023 thanks to the arrival of foreigners, which has allowed Spain to exceed 48.19 million inhabitants as of April 1, the highest figure on record.
This is clear from the provisional data of the Continuous Population Statistics (ECP) published today by the INE to provide a provisional estimate of the quarterly evolution of the population.
The increase in the number of inhabitants by 136,916 people represents a relative annual growth of 1.24%, which suggests that in the year as a whole the Spanish population could increase by 590,184 people, the highest figure since 2008.
This growth is due, according to INE data, to the increase in residents of foreign nationality, which offset the decrease in the population of Spanish nationality. Specifically, the number of foreigners increased by 149,530 people between January and March (75,529 women and 74,001 men), while the number of residents with Spanish nationality fell by 12,614.
As of April 1, there were 41,969,601 residents of Spanish nationality in Spain (30,889,196 of them were born here and the rest nationalized) and 6,227,092 of foreign nationality, 2.46% more than at the end of 2022 and 15.5% more than April 1, 2021.
In two years, the number of foreign residents has grown by 834,932 people, so that 17.2% of those who live in Spain today were born in another country. However, due to the Spanish nationalization process, the percentage of foreigners out of the population is 12.9%.
During the first quarter of 2023 it is estimated that the population grew in 15 of the 17 autonomous communities. The largest relative increases occurred in the Community of Madrid (0.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022), the Valencian Community (0.54%) and Catalonia (0.46%). On the other hand, it remained stagnant or fell slightly in Galicia and Extremadura.