Press release 18/06/2018


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The Basque Country could have 28,800 more inhabitants in 2061

In the most favourable scenario it would gain 251,900 inhabitants and, if the migratory balance was null, it would lose around 430,000 residents

Five of the six demographic evolution scenarios until 1 January 2061, contemplate population gains for the Basque Country, according to data prepared by Eustat relative to the 2061 Demographic Scenarios. In the reference scenario it would gain 28,800 inhabitants and only scenario six predicts a loss of 430,300 inhabitants, if the hypothesis of null migratory balance in the whole period is fulfilled.


Scenario one is an extension of the 2031 Population Projections prepared by Eustat and constitutes the reference framework from which the rest of the scenarios will be constructed. Scenario two combines the hypothesis of a high fertility rate with a lower life expectancy and higher emigration, whereas scenario three proceeds in the opposite direction, taking the hypothesis of lower fertility with greater longevity and less emigration. The results of these two scenarios are similar to those of scenario one for the population totals, but differ substantially in their distribution by age.

Scenarios four and five are based on the hypothesis of scenario one for fertility and mortality. However, the migratory balance of that scenario changes from the year 2031 onwards as it takes into account a greater immigration flow, which results in higher population figures from that date. These scenarios used a criteria outside demography in order to determine the apparent immigration needs: the fourth scenario calculates the immigration needed to maintain the figure of one million people in work, with employment rates similar to those currently found in the region of West Sweden, chosen for its similarity to the Basque Country in several characteristics. The fifth scenario makes the same calculations but takes maintaining a maximum ratio of one person in work for every person unemployed as a criteria.

Finally, an instrumental scenario has been created, the sixth, which is based on the hypothesis of scenario one in terms of mortality and fertility and an assumed lack of migrations. Its purpose is to establish the endogenous growth capacity of the population of the Basque Country, by solely natural change (births and deaths), without migrations.


Bizkaia would only gain population in two scenarios

In Bizkaia the final result of scenarios one to three would be a population loss of around 6.3%, something that would not occur in the other two provinces: in Álava growth would stand at around 8.7% and in Gipuzkoa at 10%. Scenarios four and five predict a population growth in the three provinces, but in scenario four it would only be 3% in Bizkaia, 15% in Gipuzkoa and 14% in Álava, whereas in scenario five population growth in Bizkaia would rise to 6%, it would be double in Álava and in Gipuzkoa it would increase to 19%. In scenario six, which forecasts a 20% decrease in the population of the Basque Country, the contribution to this drop by province would be 63% from Bizkaia, 28% from Gipuzkoa and 9% from Álava.

The population aged 65 and over could increase by up to 72%

As a result of the hypotheses for each scenario, the structure by ages of the Basque population would undergo profound changes until 2061. The number of under-20s would increase in four of the scenarios. Maximum growth occurs in the fifth scenario, with 67,800 more young people than in 2016, and would be due to a greater immigration flow. Scenarios three and six predict a decrease in the size of this age group, of 48,000 and 107,00 fewer people, respectively, but for different reasons: in scenario three it would be due to a drop in fertility not compensated by an increase in the migratory balance, whereas in scenario six the cause would be the null migratory balance forecasted.

All the scenarios predict a decrease in the active population, the 20-64 age group, ranging from110,000 people in scenario five to 540,000 people in scenario six. On the other hand, all six scenarios predict an increase in the 65 and over age group, going from 202,000 more people in scenario two to 334,200 in scenario three; in relative values, the aforementioned changes represent increases of 43.4% and 75%, respectively.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62

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