20 May 2024

Registered Health Professional Statistics

Year 2023

Main results

  • In 2023, the number of registered doctors increased by 3.2% and that of registered nurses by 2.9%.
  • The ratio of registered doctors stood at 6.21 per 1,000 inhabitants and the ratio of nurses was 7.12 per 1,000.

In 2023, the number of registered health care professionals in Spain was 975,243, 3.0% more than the previous year. By sex, 302,009 were men (up 2.4%) and 673,234 were women (up 3.4%).

The majority were nurses (35.5% of the total), followed by doctors (30.9%) and pharmacists (8.2%).

Registered health care professionals. Records for 2019-2023
Values and rates of change (%)

The number of registered doctors in Spain increased by 9,271 (3.2%) reaching a total of 301,684 in 2023

On the other hand, registered nurses increased by 9,766 people (2.9%), standing at 345,969. Within this group, 10,286 people were registered as midwives (4.1% more than in 2022).

The number of registered professionals in the other professions covered by the statistics also increased, except for the number of dental prosthetists (-0.4%). The largest increases occurred in occupational therapists (11.8%), physicists with a health specialism (8.2%) and chemists with a health specialism (7.3%).

Nurses had the largest ratio per 1,000 inhabitants in 2023 (7.12). Next came doctors (6.21) and pharmacists (1.65).

In the case of nurses who specialise in midwifery, the ratio was 0.97 per 1,000 women of childbearing age.

Health care professionals by age and sex

By age group, the highest percentages of health professionals under 45 years of age were found among occupational therapists (87.9%), physiotherapists (76.8%) and podiatrists (69.4%).

The lowest percentages in this age group were those of biologists(38.7%), dental prosthetists (38.8%) and doctors (39.2%).

Meanwhile, the largest percentages of registered practitioners over the age of 65 were for doctors (25.3%) and pharmacists (17.8%).

Registered healthcare professionals by age. 2023
Percentage (%)

The healthcare profession is predominantly female. In 2023, there were more women than men in 13 of the 15 professions analysed.

The groups with the highest percentage of women were speech therapists (93.0% were women), occupational therapists (90.0%) and nurses (84.2%).

In contrast, the professions with the lowest percentage of women were dental prosthetists (31.5%), physicists with a health specialism (32.2%) and veterinarians (53.6%).

Registered women by type of healthcare profession. 2023


Data by Autonomous Communities and Cities

The number of registered doctors increased in all the autonomous communities in 2023, and only decreased in the autonomous city of Melilla (-4.0%).

The largest decreases took place in Cantabria (5.4%), Canarias (3.9%) and Illes Balears (3.8%). The smallest decreases were in the autonomous city of Ceuta (0.8%), Aragón (1.9%) and Castilla-La Mancha (2.6%).

The highest rates of doctors were in the Principality of Asturias (7.32 per 1,000 inhabitants), Aragon (7.31) and Comunidad de Madrid (7.25). And the lowest were in the autonomous cities of Melilla (3.59) and Ceuta (4.41) and in Castilla-La Mancha (4.89).

The highest ratios of registered nurses per 1,000 inhabitants were recorded in Cantabria (9.05), Comunidad Foral de Navarra (8.87) and País Vasco (8.84). The lowest were in Región de Murcia (4.81), Galicia (5.21) and Illes Balears (5.97).

Registered doctors. 2023
Rates per 1,000 inhabitants
Registered nurses. 2023
Rates per 1,000 inhabitants

Revisions and data updates

The data published today are final. All results are available on INEbase

Methodological note

The Registered Health Professionals Statistics are annual structural statistics that investigate the number and characteristics of health professionals registered in their respective Professional Colleges or Councils. They have compiled at the National Statistics Institute without interruption since 1952. This research provides information to various international organisations such as the OECD and the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat).

The information currently provided refers to the professions included in Law 44/2003 of 21 November on the Regulation of Health Professions, or which meet the requirements established therein. The groups, which are: doctors, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, psychologists with a specialism in health, physicists with a specialism in health, nurses, physiotherapists, podiatrists, opticians-optometrists, dental prosthetists, chemists with a speciality in health, occupational therapists, speech therapists and biologists with a specialism in health.

The questionnaires are completed through a web application (IRIA) by the General Councils and/or Professional Associations.

Type of operation:
annual continuous survey.
Population scope:
professionals in the healthcare field that are registered in any Spanish Professional Association.
Geographical scope:
the entire national territory.
Reference period:
the data refer to 31 December.
Collection method:
online questionnaire (web application).

More information on the methodology and the standardised methodological report.

INE statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Good Practice for European Statistics. More information in Quality at INE and Code of Best Practices.

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