Grupo de Población de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles

Population, Space and Place. Volume 20, Issue 7, October 2014

Consultable on line en:

Este número incluye el artículo:

Fernando Collantes, Vicente Pinilla, Luis Antonio Sáez and Javier Silvestre (2014):

Reducing Depopulation in Rural Spain: The Impact of Immigration”, pp. 606–621.

The attraction of foreign-born immigrants to rural areas in developed countries has aroused growing interest in recent years. The central issue in this study is the demographic impact of immigration in rural Spain, focusing on depopulated areas. The economic and demographic consequences of depopulation have become major concerns, and the arrival of international migrants has come to be seen as a possible solution. The aim of this study is to add to a literature in which qualitative research and local or regional perspectives predominate. The present research draws on quantitative findings for a significant part of Spain. The evidence in this study is principally based on population figures for the last years of the 20th century, a period of low immigration to Spain, and the early years of the 21st century, when the inflow of foreign migrants gathered intensity. We also explore the early consequences of the present economic crisis, which began in 2008. The analysis is based on estimates of native and foreign-born population growth for a range of territorial aggregations. Counterfactual techniques are also used. The results show that the arrival of immigrants has so far contributed substantially to reducing and even halting or reversing depopulation. A further series of analyses concentrates on the potential of rural areas to retain immigrants in the long run.