Time: 9:59 AM
Spain faces a worrying population challenge as
the least densely populated country in southern Europe with a population of 46.
7 million and looking for strategic solutions to combat that threat.
According to the Spanish Institution of Statics, Five percent of the
population in Spain lives in only 53 percent of the country' space.
Ninety percent of Spain's population, more than 42 million people live in
30 percent of the country' space, posing a strategic threat to public services
and regional cohesion, the statics added.
More than 42 million people are concentrated in Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza
and the coastal areas, living in 1,500 of the more than 8100 municipalities in
One of the main reasons for this problem is the migration to large cities
that are no longer confined to remote villages and rural areas but have spread
over the last ten years to the small cities that suffered from the economic
crisis in 2008 and forced many to migrate.
The capital, Madrid and large cities such as Barcelona and other coastal
cities were the main attractions during that period, especially for
individuals aged between 25 and 40 years, Spain became like a desert with some
One of the other reasons is the departure of migrants and foreigners, who
usually record higher birth rates to major cities or outside Spain and the
caused a decline in investment, trade, cultural life and jobs, which has
spread to some of the most important Spanish cities.
The financial crisis in 2008 had a twin effect in deepening the problem,
causing a decrease in birth rates due to unemployment and low wages that
prompted individuals to delay the decision to have children.
However, the number of births continues to decline for the tenth year in a
row while the number of deaths in a marked rise.
Spain's population has grown about 36 percent since 1975 from 43.2 million
to 46.7 million in 2018, including 4.7 million foreigners living in the
The Spanish government launched last month a national strategic plan that
includes a package of 70 measures aimed at addressing rural migration.
The most prominent of these measures is the strengthening of military bases
in rural areas as a means of restoring activity in those areas left by young
people, especially women, as the Ministry of Defense has more than 200
military bases in 50 rural areas.
This will create jobs opportunities and establish Internet and
telecommunications networks and other services such as health centers in these
The government has also set up an investment plan and credit lines with
support for entrepreneurship and youth employment in the disadvantaged
Municipalities to address the demographic challenge.
The plan also provides for housing rehabilitation projects in rural areas
and the creation of a common platform for rural tourism to encourage the
private sector to invest.
Experts believe that foreign immigrants are one of the most important
solutions to address the demographic challenge and to promote reproductive
rates, but the Spanish government stresses that the economic and political
conditions do not encourage this step.
Among other things, European groups from other countries see rural areas as
an opportunity to create a new life in Spain, which is a positive step for the
Spain hopes that these measures will help start the treatment of the
demographic crisis and restore life to a large number of cities that have lost
their luster in recent years.