The population figures, broken down by sex, are published for all Spanish municipalities at 1 January each year.
These figures are passed by the Government, via the Royal Decree declaring the population figures resulting from the revision of the municipal register, referring to 1 January each year, to be official.
It gathers the population resulting from the municipal registers, after applying the coordination of all of them, and the figure procedure established in the Resolution dated 25 October 2005, of the President of the National Statistics Institute and the Director General for Local Cooperation, thereby dictating technical instructions for the Municipal Councils, regarding the annual revision of the Municipal Register, and regarding the procedure for obtaining the proposal of official population figures.
It includes all those persons registered in Spain. Law 7/1985, Regulating the Law on Local Ordinances, establishes the compulsory nature of registering all persons living in Spain in the Municipal Register, not making any distinction due to nationality, nor requiring legal residence in Spain.
The basic unit of the statistics is the person resident in Spain and registered in the INE municipal register database.
The target population of study of the statistics are all those persons registered in Spain.
The statistics cover the whole of the national territory. Data is published on a national level, by Autonomous Community, and by province, municipality and island.
The figures are obtained annually, with the reference date being 1 January each year, with the results available as of the year 1998. Also available are the figures from the Renewal of the Municipal Register of Inhabitants on 1 May 1996.
The series begins with the data from 1 January 1998.
1 January each year
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2018
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
The INE is obligated, by Law (article 17.3 of Law 7/1985, Regulating the Law on Local Ordinances) to submit the proposal of official population figures for Spanish municipalities to the National Government, for approval, based on the coordination carried out by the Municipal Registers.
The procedure for obtaining the population figures resulting from the Municipal Register Revision at 1 January contains different phases, and is regulated in the Resolution dated 25 October 2005, of the President of the National Statistics Institute and the Director General for Local Cooperation, dictating technical instructions to the Municipal Councils regarding the annual revision of the Municipal Register and about the procedure for obtaining the proposal for official population figures.
Given the nature of the statistical operation (to disseminate the figures passed by Royal Decree on a municipal level), this is not applicable.
The population figures are disseminated annually.
The official population figures are disseminated via the INE website.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
Access to the figures on the https://www.ine.es website in INEBase, within the Demographics and Population-Register section. Population by municipality:
Given the nature of the operation, these concepts are not applicable.
In addition to the population, by municipality, other tables are published on variations of the population and distribution of the municipalities, according to size.
Information is available at:
Fields 10.6 to 17 of this document may be considered the quality report intended for users for this operation.
The ongoing management of the municipal register has established a series of controls for detecting and correcting errors, which guarantee the quality of the figures obtained.
The data comes from the Municipal Registers of Inhabitants, which are the administrative registers that each Municipal Council manages, and in which, and continuous process of data updating and filtering is performed.
The INE is responsible for the coordination of these municipal registers, and is in charge of avoiding duplicities, among other tasks.
These population figures are official, and they are used to determine the number of delegates by electoral zone, to set the number of councilpersons to choose in the municipal elections, to make decisions that affect the financing and jurisdiction of the municipalities and for those purposes expressly set out by law.
Users worth noting include the following:
- Ministries and other public bodies
- Territorial Administrations (Autonomous Communities, provincial delegations and municipal councils)
- Universities and research centres
- The press and specialised media
- Other INE units
- The Congress and the Senate: parliamentary matters
- International organisations: Eurostat, OECD, etc.
On some occasions, the requests refer to population figures with different reference dates throughout the year, and cannot be answered, as by law, the Revision of the municipal registers from which the official population figures are derived must be carried out on 1 January each year.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
All of the information required, according to the relevant guidelines and regulations, is available. Therefore, the rate of compulsory information available is 100%.
The global reliability of the figures is conditioned by the base file that is used, which comes from the coordination of the municipal registers.
Sampling errors do no occur, as this is the direct use of a register.
The data is from an administrative register, and all of the accepted units have information, with a possible existence of some occasional errors affecting the sex variable in approximately 0.2% of the records, and which are filtered in the different phases.
Regarding the register coverage, for Spaniards, it is considered that the incidence of omissions is very small, as registration is a requirement for many administrative processes.
Regarding over-coverage, in the case of Spaniards who transfer from Spain to locations abroad, this appears in the Municipal Register only if they register in the Consular Registers, which does not always occur, and therefore, they may continue to appear as residents in Spain, when they actually reside abroad.
As per foreign nationals who leave Spain and transfer to other countries, depending on whether or not they are community nationals, and according to the type of residence permit they have, they may remain registered in the Municipal Register for 2 or 5 years (according to the case), until a process for delisting by expiry is applied (for not community citizens and those without permanent residence permits, ENCSARP) or delisting due to undue registration (for the rest, NO_ENCSARP).
The official figures for year t are published in the month of January of year t+1, that is, following a 12-month period.
The figures are made available on the INE website the day after publication of the Government Royal Decree in the Official State Gazette, stating that they are official.
All the data is comparable for any territorial breakdown, as they all come from the municipal registers, which are governed by the same regulations, and which are coordinated by the INE.
The data from the statistics is comparable as of 1998, which are figures already obtained at 1 January each year, using the implementation of the new municipal register management system, and therefore, the number of comparable elements from the time series is 21.
The figures from the Continuous Municipal Register Statistics coincide with the figures from the Official Population Figures, given that they use the same source, and they are the result of the same procedure.
However, there are differences between the figures obtained in the Population Now Cast and those from the Population Censuses, which are justified by the different methodologies followed. Some of the differences with the figures from the Population Censuses are also due to the fact that they have different reference dates.
All of the results are obtained from an administrative register, and they are coherent amongst themselves.
Given that the figures are obtained directly from the INE municipal register database, there are no costs associated with the collection, nor is there a response burden.
The estimation of the budgetary credit necessary to finance these statistics, as foreseen in the 2018 Annual Programme, comes to a total of 75,22 thousand euros.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
Once the figures are passed by the Government, and declared official by Royal Decree published in the BOE, they are no longer revised.
Provisional data is not published.
The population figures are obtained using the coordination of the Municipal registers.
The Municipal register is an administrative register where the neighbours of the municipality are recorded. All persons living in Spain are obligated to register in the Municipal Register of the municipality where they regularly reside. Persons who live in several municipalities must register only in that in which they reside the longest during the year.
The municipal councils are responsible for the preparation, updating, revision and supervision thereof, as they must perform the actions and operations necessary for the data in their Municipal registers to coincide with reality.
The municipal councils manages the registers by computer, and in those cases in which they lack the means of doing so, the registers are managed by the Provincial Delegations.
Law 7/1985, of 2 April, Regulating the Law on the Local Ordinances and the Population and Territorial Demarcation Regulation of Local Entities, establish that the Municipal Councils must submit those monthly variations that occur in the data in their Municipal registers to the National Statistics Institute, by computer or telematic media, so that the INE, in compliance with its obligations as set out in article 17.3 of the aforementioned Law on Local Ordinances, may perform the corresponding verifications for the purpose of correcting possible errors and avoiding duplicities, and so that the official figures resulting from the annual revisions may be declared official.
The municipal councils are in charge of keeping their municipal registers permanently updated, with the data stated by citizens, and they must carry out the updates and operations that are necessary for the data in their municipal registers to coincide with reality.
Likewise, each month, the municipal councils must send the INE all of the variations occurring therein (registrations, delistings and modifications), with the INE being in charge of the coordination of all of the municipal registers, so as to avoid duplicities occurring among the different municipal registers.
The Municipal registers are administrative registers that are updated continuously.
The INE is attributed the coordination of the municipal registers of all of the municipalities, and of these with the Register of Spaniards Resident Abroad (RSRA), and in this way, the Municipal register database of the INE remains permanently updated.
The population figures are obtained following a complex contrasting process of the INE Municipal register database with the municipal register file from each municipal council (all referring to 1 January each year) up to the record (inhabitant) level.
The Registration Council, in compliance with the functions attributed to it in article 17.4 of Law 7/1985, and article 85 of the Population Regulation, passes the proposed decision of the INE President binding dispute resolution of the discrepancies between the Municipal councils and the latter, and notifies, with a binding nature, on the proposal of official population figures of Spanish municipalities that the Government of the INE President passes for approval via Royal Decree.
A process is also conducted to detect possible incoherences in the sex variable, contrasting with sources from the Home Office.
The file from which the official population figures are obtained is filtered for the sex variable, so that no invalid values appear.
Neither seasonal adjustments are made, nor are there decompositions of time series nor other similar methods.