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Spain's population decreases for first time since 1971


08:59, June 26, 2013

MADRID, June 25 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish population decreased for the first time since 1971, according to the information published on Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Official figures showed Spain's population decreased by 0.2 percent (162,390 people) from January 2012 to January 2013 to a total of 46.7 million citizens.

Population did increase in the regions of Andalusia, Balearic and Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, however.

According to the INE, 476,748 people decided to leave Spain compared to 314,358 people who arrived in the country. There were 452,273 births and 403,785 deaths in the same period.

In addition, 59,724 Spanish citizens left Spain between January 2012 and January 2013 while 417,023 foreigners left the country, registering a 2.3 percent decrease in annual terms. However, a total of 32,380 Spaniards returned to Spain.

Meanwhile, the number of citizens above 64 years of age increased by 134,356.

Experts said the data reflects the impact of the economic crisis with the youngest emigrating to other countries because of Spain's high unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, immigrants working in Spain decided to return to their countries of origin, many of them experiencing economic growth themselves, and because Spain does not offer the same work opportunities as it did before.

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