March 7, 2021

The emptied Spain has lost half of its economic, demographic and labor weight in 70 years




The weight of the so-called Spain emptied into the national economic, social and labor fabric is diluted as it has been losing population in the last century. This is warned by the report “The depopulation of interior Spain” of the Foundation of Savings Banks (Funcas) which detects that 23 provinces have lost in 70 years half of its demographic, economic and labor weight: would be the nine from Castilla y León (Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora), the three from Aragon (Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza), four from Castilla-La Manchto (Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Guadalajara), the two from Extremadura (Badajoz and Cáceres), two Galicians (Lugo and Orense), two Andalusians (Córdoba and Jaén) and The Rioja. Among the factors that explain this deterioration, Funcas cites the mechanization of agriculture, industrialization and urbanization that, starting in the 1950s, caused “intense migratory movements from rural areas to large cities.” East Rural exodus it was concentrated in the young, which led to an aging of the demographic pyramid of those who remained and, in the long run, negative vegetative growth.

“Some other provinces are at the limit of compliance with one of the two criteria that have been taken into account. Asturias has also lost population since 1950, but its current density – excluding its capital and cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants – exceeds the national average. In parallel, provinces with a lower population density than the average have had a demographic growth since 1950: Álava, Almería, Navarra, Huelva, Lérida and Toledo. ORothers Territories within the other provinces not included in this list would also meet the two criteria to form part of depopulated SpainBut the analysis has been carried out exclusively by taking data aggregated by province, ”explains the agency.

In this way, the 23 provinces housed 34.1% of the Spanish population in 1950 (including here capitals and cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants) and generated 26.7% of the Gross Added Value (GVA) and 33.5% % of total employment. Currently, these figures are losing weight and represent 18.1% of the population, 16.1% of GVA and 17% of employment. Most of its population and economic loss took place in the 50s, 60s and 70s of the last century and, to a lesser extent, in the 1980s. Since 1991 a stabilization of the population has been detectedn with a slight increase in the first decade of this century.

The cumulative annual average growth rate of GDP since 1950 has been almost one percentage point less than the national average in Soria, Ávila, Cuenca, Zamora, Palencia, Segovia and Ourense, and more than half a point lower in Salamanca, León, Lugo, Badajoz, Huesca, Teruel and Ciudad Real. “The gap generated by this annual growth differential over almost 70 years is enormous”, Funcas abounds.

The report by Eduardo Bandrés and Vanessa Azón states that the provinces that have suffered from depopulation with the greatest intensity are also those with the greatest aging rates, about 10 percentage points above the national average (which is 16%) in terms of the population over 65 years of age and less young population, between 7 and 9 points below 21%, which is the country’s average.

The three emptied Spains

However, Funcas detects that there is not one empty Spain but three, taking into account its different evolution. The first group has the name of “The depopulated Spain that is decreasing”, and it is, according to Funcas, the “hard core of depopulation.” It is made up of Ávila, Cuenca, León, Zamora, Salamanca, Lugo, Orense, Segovia, Palencia, Soria and Teruel. «It has the worst demographics: it has lost more population than the others, it has a lower density of inhabitants per km2, an older population and an added effect: a very strong job destruction “, describes Funcas. These provinces have continued to lose population in the 21st century with two exceptions, Salamanca and Segovia.

The second group, “The depopulated Spain that stagnates”It is made up of the most populated provinces, which, according to Funcas, although they suffered important migratory processes, have not lost so many jobs and maintain a good base of young population: Albacete, Ciudad Real, Badajoz, Cáceres, Córdoba and Jaén. «Their main disadvantage compared to the other two groups are economic variables: little weight of the industrial sector, low levels of GDP per inhabitant and very high unemployment rates. Probably, the problem is not so much demographic as one of economic reactivation and more productive use of its resources, “says the agency.

The third group, made up of Guadalajara, Burgos, Huesca, La Rioja, Valladolid and Zaragoza, is the “Spain depopulated that goes back”. «It is in an intermediate position in terms of demographic indicators, with low population density and aging problems, but it presents the best economic records: a GDP per capita above the average, low unemployment rate, high weight of the industrial sector and, even having lost population, the presence of important capital centers has allowed them a positive job creation ”, the report details.

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