The independence and its economic decline make Catalonia a land of migrants


Roberto PérezSEGUIR Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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Catalonia has ceased to be the economic locomotive that attracted population from the rest of Spain, in the heat of socio-economic development that offered prosperity and opportunity in a healthy way envied in the rest of the country. is Now, Catalonia does not attract population, but the loses. The tension triggered by the “procés” independence and the loss of economic muscle have led to Catalonia being a land of immigrants, something unthinkable a few years ago and that contrasts with what was this region for decades.

The migration flows interautonómicos are telling: from 2018, there are more that are going out of Catalonia that those who come to live in this Community from other points of Spain. The procés independentista, 2018 and triggered a leak of companies. Now, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) confirmed that the companies have been thousands of people. It happened in 2018, and was repeated with similar intensity in 2019.

The difference between those who come to a region from other parts of Spain, and that perform the inverse path is what is called “ migrations inside”. Well, the Catalonia takes two years installed in the negative , the opposite of what happened traditionally in the past. All this after years in which the backdrop of the “procés” has also left its mark on the Catalan economy: in the olden days it was the regions with the largest growing employment, but now travelling by mainstream national, clearly surpassed by Madrid . And another button shows: in the triennium 2016-2018, foreign investment sank in Catalonia 64%, while in Madrid shot up 259%.

Source: INE – Graphics: ABC

Between 2008 and 2019 , the migratory balances internal -those that occur between regions in spain- we did win 103.598 inhabitants of the Community of Madrid; Catalonia, however, lost 7.573 people.

At the tail end of Spain

In 2019, Catalonia was the second community with the worst migration balance interautonómico, only behind Castilla yLeón -a region especially hit by the aging and depopulation of rural-.

last year, including Andalusia and Extremadura showed migratory balances interautonómicos more favorable to the Catalan , despite being two regions traditionally of intense emigration -of the that drew widely Catalonia-.

the data from The INE show that, in the last two years, Catalonia has lost 9.352 Spanish as a result of migration flows between the regions. To the rest of Spain only manage to snatch foreign population, especially moroccans and romanians. So, in the last biennium, and the result of the migration interautonómicas, Catalonia has gained 1.276 moroccan and 407 rumanians, who, after having come ashore in other Spanish autonomous communities, have ended up settling in Catalan municipalities.

“The investment you want peace of mind, and in Catalonia that calm has been damaged by the tensions of independence” , remember the teacher Rafael Pampillón , director of Economic Analysis at IE Business School. The “procés” not only has crushed the arrival of foreign investments but that has driven other already well-established. “There was a relocation very strong companies that moved to other regions to protect themselves from the risks of independence,” recalls Pampillón.

economic Structure

in Addition, this specialist adds another factor: the change of the productive structure, the weight loss industry and the development of services. Catalonia has suffered first, but has not been able to compensate for it with a second , unlike Madrid, very competitive in the services sector and, in addition, has also attracted industrial investment.

Pampillón warns that this drift of Catalonia is worrying, because it ends up affecting the aggregate economic all over the country. “There are companies that have relocated to Catalonia and have gone to other parts of Spain, but others have gone to other countries, and this is bad for everyone. Spain will want Catalonia to grow, not to be depressed economically and buy products and services to the rest of the country,” he says.

The professor of Economic History University of Zaragoza and analyst of migratory movements, Javier Silvestre , explains that the decline of the Catalan industry is shaping its demography. is “In the past, Catalonia was much more industrialized than Madrid, but much of that industry has been disappearing . It was the one industrial sector that attracted to Catalonia people from Andalusia, Extremadura or Galicia, as well as of Aragon, or of the Valencian Community. This industry has lost weight and has gained the services sector, and in services Madrid is growing a lot more” .

Wild indicates that the migratory movements that occur currently within Spain are very different from those that occurred up to the 70 years of the TWENTIETH century. “People are moving by the differences of opportunities and now the economy depends on much more of the service sector”. In addition, “now the Spanish regions are much more balanced economically than they did 30 or 40 years”, so that the migratory movements between regions are less marked and more selective.

Madrid, a large magnet socioeconomic

The opposite of what happens in the territories that are net producers of population -the case of Catalonia-, the capital of Spain stands out among those who are recipients of new settlers. Madrid is not let to grow to attract population from other regions in Spain -without counting the ones that arrive directly from abroad-. The latest data of the INE have revealed that in 2019, Madrid city won 64.124 inhabitants thanks to the so-called “domestic migrations” ; that is to say, thank you to those who come to live in the capital city from other municipalities throughout Spain.

In Madrid there are many more who come to live than leaving. The demographic flows of the last year make it clear: this large city received 204.638 new neighbors, in front of the 140.514 they left to live to other parts of Spain. That is to say, the migratory balance of 2019 left in Madrid in a net increase of population of 64.124 inhabitants.

And it is especially significant that the vast majority are young . The job prospects offered by the capital of Spain make that appeals mainly to young people or to families with small children. In short, Madrid wins active population and of childbearing age, which reinforces the potential demographic and economic characteristics of the city of the future.

In 2019 of the 64.124 inhabitants net that won this city thanks to the migration flows, 54.320 were less than 35 years. That is to say, of every 100 new people who joined with the migration, the 85 had less than 35 years.