- Type of operation: continuous on an annual basis.
- Population scope: all persons registered in Spain.
- Geographical scope: the entire national territory.
- Reference period: 1 January of each year
- Collection method: on the basis of the information provided by each Municipal Council.
Methodology documents and classifications
- What is the Continous Register?
The Municipal Register is the administrative register where the municipality neighbours are registered. Its data constitutes proof of residence in the municipality and usual domicile in the same.
Everybody who resides in Spain is obliged to register in the Municipal Register in which they habitually reside. Anyone who lives in several municipalities will have to register only in the one in which they spend more time in over the year.
The entry in the Municipal Register will contain only the following obligatory data on each neighbour:
- Name and Surname
- Usual domicile
- Place and date of birth
- National Identity Document Number or in the case of foreigners, the document that replaces it.
Its formation, maintenance, revision and custody corresponds to the Town Council, in agreement with the regulations approved jointly by the Exchequer and Ministry of Public Administration at the request of the Council electoral register, obtaining the Revision of the Municipal Register referred to 1 January of each year.
Law 7/1985 of 2 April, Regulator of the Local Regime Bases in relation to the municipal Register and the Regulation of Population and Territorial Demarcation of local entities establishes that the Town Councils must issue, via IT or telematic methods the monthly variations that occur in the Municipal register data at the National Institute of Statistics so that this institute, in fulfillment of the obligations that article 17.3 of the said Bases Law imposes, carries out the appropriate checks to correct errors and duplicates and that official figures resulting from the annual
- How are Official population figures obtained? Annual revision of the Municipal Register
Once the information sent by Municipal Councils to the National Statistics Institute (INE) have been checked, according to the provisions of Law7/1985, the INE receives a population figure for each municipality, which it uses to contrast with the numerical results of the annual revision, sent by Municipal Councils in accordance with the provisions of article 81 of the Regulation on Population and Territorial Demarcation of Local Entities, and, where no agreement is reached, it submits to the Registration Council to be included in its report, in accordance with article 82.1 of said Regulation, the discrepancies with the population figure approved by Municipal Councils.
The Registration Council, in compliance with the functions attributed to it by article 17.4 of Law 7/1985, and article 85 of the Population Regulation, escalates for the INE President to decide a binding resolution proposal on the discrepancies among the Municipal Councils and the latter, and reports, bindingly, on the official population figures proposal of the Spanish municipalities escalated to the Government by the President of the INE for approval by Royal Decree.
The technical procedure set out for obtaining the proposal for official population figures resulting from the Annual revision of the Municipal Register is shown in the Resolution of 25 October 2005 of the President of the National Statistics Institute and of the General Director for Local Cooperation, whereby the technical instructions are dictated to Municipal Councils regarding the Annual revision of the Municipal Register and regarding the procedure for obtaining the proposal for official population figures.
In the aforementioned Resolution, it is established that Municipal Councils, together with the population figure for their municipality at 1 January, will submit a copy of their complete Municipal Register on the same reference date to the INE, such that the INE, when comparing data with the information available to it, may detail up to record level (inhabitant) the possible issues to be addressed, which in turn are submitted to the Municipal Council by means of a specific file. As a result, the Municipal Councils may make allegations regarding the issued raised, also by means of a specific file, and if they are not taken into account by the INE, they are handled as discrepancies to be reported by the Registration Council. The Resolution of 20 July 2018 with the complete technical procedure is available in the Boletín Oficial del Estado
From the figures for 1/1/2006 the procedure for expiry of the municipal records of non-Community foreign nationals without permanent residence, not renewed every two years, is being applied, established by virtue of the amendment to article 16 of Law 7/1985 Regulating the Basis of Local Regimes, by Organic Law 14/2003, of 20 November, and for this reason not including non-renewed records in the figures.
Likewise, since the figures as at 1 January 2017, EU foreigners or those with long-term residence (formerly permanent residence) are not counted, for whom the continuity of residence in the municipality has not been verified, by virtue of the periodic verification procedure by the Municipal Councils, established by agreement of the Register Council in 2009, and currently regulated in section 7 of the Resolution of 30 January 2015 of the President of the National Statistics Institute and the Director General for the Coordination of Competencies with the Autonomous Communities and Local Entities, by which technical instructions are issued to the Municipal Councils on the management of the Municipal Register (BOE 24-3-2015 ).
According to this procedure, the verifications must be carried out every 2 or 5 years, depending on whether or not they are registered in the Central Register of Foreigners, and whether or not their registrations have not been modified during this period. This accounting criterion began to be applied progressively from the figures referring to 1 January 2013, according to the fulfilment of certain management percentages required, which were increasing annually until they were applied in 2017 without restrictions.
- Continuous Register Statistics
The population figures from the Municipal Register Revision as at 1 January of the different Spanish municipalities are declared official by Royal Decree.
The information used for this purpose provides the files used to carry out the statistical operation that is comprehensive, that is to say, studying all the records contained in the register files. During this process, validity and cleaning controls are carried out on the different variables, resulting in the final files, the basis for obtaining the information.
The population data are presented in accordance with the different variables included in the Register which are used for statistical purposes:
- Place of residence
- Place of birth
- Relationship between place of residence and place of birth
The results of this operation are disseminated on an annual basis up to the level of municipality and census section.
Until 2002, in some cases, there was no exact match between the figures derived from the files and those officially approved, so it was necessary to use correction factors, calculated at the level of the register, which sometimes gave rise to differences in some units between the official figures and those in the tabulations.
In some provinces, it was not possible for the INE to have all the municipal files at the time of starting the statistical exploitation of the Register; therefore, the tables obtained at the municipal level did not include information for these municipalities.
For all these reasons, the information generated at the provincial, Autonomous Community and national levels included the population of the aforementioned municipalities, distributed through the application of correction factors.
However, as of 2003, these deficiencies were corrected, and since then the use of correction factors has not been necessary, and there has been total agreement between the official figures and those in the tables of the operation.
- How the population figures should be interpreted
- List of municipalities and their codes