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Press Release 13/03/2014


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A slight fall in the population of the Basque Country on 1 January 2013

The proportion of elderly people exceeded that of most Autonomous Communities and European countries

The population of the Basque Country on 1 January 2013 stood at 2,178,949 individuals, according to Eustat data. There were 866 individuals fewer than those registered in the Population and Housing Census of 1 November 2011, which marks a turning point in the population growths that occurred in the first years of this century.

Gipuzkoa, with 2,681 more inhabitants, compensated for the population drop in Bizkaia, with 2,559 fewer residents, and that of Álava, whose population fell by 988 inhabitants.

The decrease in population in Álava was the result of what occurred in Vitoria-Gasteiz, that had 1,038 individuals fewer than on the census reference date, a decrease that wasn't compensated for by the weak growth of the province's other municipalities. On the other hand, in Gipuzkoa the population growth of the province's municipalities counteracted the losses of the largest ones, San Sebastián and Irún, which registered 1,231 fewer residents.

The fall in Bizkaia was a result of the drops in Bilbao (2,789 fewer inhabitants), Getxo, Portugalete, Sestao and Basauri, among other municipalities of Bizkaia. Specifically, the region of Gran Bilbao lost a total of 3,730 residents.

The municipalities with the highest population density, above 6,000 inhabitants per km2, are concentrated in this region, with the highest density occurring in Portugalete, with 14,741 inhabitants per km2 in 2013.

In contrast, there are municipalities such as Kuartango, Lagrán, Bernedo, Arraia-Maeztu and Harana/Valle de Arana, belonging to the region of Montaña Alavesa, with less than 8 inhabitants per km2, which have also lost population since the end of 2011.

In 19 municipalities of the Basque Country more than a quarter of the population is 65 or over

At 20.2%, the Basque Country has a greater proportion of the population over the age of 65 than Spain (17.7%). Castilla y León, Galicia, Principado de Asturias, with over 23%, are the Autonomous Communities that have higher proportions. In comparison with Europe, only Italy and Germany have higher figures than the Basque Country.

93 municipalities exceed the average percentage of the Basque Country, whilst 158 presented the same or a lower percentage. Amongst those that exceed it are Bilbao, San Sebastián and Barakaldo, which account for nearly 30% of the population of the Community.

There is quite a lot of disparity between the municipalities regarding the percentage of people 65 and over, where it goes from 9% in Elburgo/Burgelu to 38.3% in Lagrán. There are only three municipalities that have a percentage under 10%: Alegría-Dulantzi, Irura and the already mentioned Elburgo/Burgelu, which has a combined population of 5,272. On the other hand, there are also three municipalities have a percentage over 30%: Lagrán, Harana/Valle de Arana and Elantxobe, which have a combined total of 840 residents.

The high proportion of elderly people in all of the municipalities in the region of Montaña Alavesa caused its figure to reach almost 27%, whilst the regions with the next-highest percentage, Markina-Ondarroa and Bajo Deba, have 22% of people 65 and over.

Graph 1. Percentage of people 65 years or over by municipality.


Source: EUSTAT. Municipal Statistics on Inhabitants. 2013

Nearly 1.5 people over 65 for every person under 16

In the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, there was a ratio of 1.4 people over 65 to every person under 16, exceeding the ratio for Spain as a whole, which is 1.1. 83 municipalities exceeded this ratio, with extreme cases such as that of Lagrán, with a ratio of nearly 7 to 1. Harana/Valle de Arana has a ratio of 5 to 1. Elantxobe, Moreda de Álava/Moreda Araba and Añana have more than 3 elderly people for every person under 16. On the other hand, there were Irura, Alegría-Dulantzi, Larraul, Elburgo/Burgelu, and Altzo which had more than 2 young people up to the age of 15 for each person aged 65 and over.

Population distribution by age is most extreme in the municipalities of Álava where, due above all to its small size and the fact that any demographic phenomena, such as migration, dramatically alters this distribution.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.eus Tlf: 945 01 75 62 Further press releases on Municipal Inhabitants Statistics of the Basque Country Municipal Inhabitants Statistics of the Basque Country databank

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A slight fall in the population of the Basque Country on 1 January 2013

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