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The Residential Variation Statistics (RVS) is prepared based on the use of information regarding certain types of registrations and deregistrations recorded in the INE Municipal Register Database, which allows to measure changes of residence.
The variations recorded in the municipal registers with modification date of the reference year are considered, and reflected in the INE Municipal Register Database until the month of March (inclusive) of the year following the year of study.
Thus, we can obtain from them the annual domestic residential variations, between the different municipalities in Spain, as well as external variations, between municipalities in Spain and abroad.
The domestic residential variations refer to both the registrations and deregistrations due to residential variation when the destination and origin is a municipality in Spain, since they are the same movements with the only difference in the point of view of their measurement. When we situate ourselves in the municipalities of registration or destination we speak of Registration due to domestic residential variation, while when we do so in the municipalities of deregistration or origin, we speak of Deregistration due to domestic residential variation.
The balance of residential variation is the difference between Registrations and Deregistrations due to residential variation and always refers to a territory. The domestic residential variations of all the national territory have a zero balance, so the annual residential variation balance in Spain is the difference between Registrations and Deregistrations due to external residential variations.
It is important to point out that the annual residential variations in the statistics do not refer to the number of people who carry out a residential variation, but to the number of variations carried out, since a citizen can change his residence from one municipality to another more than once in a year.
It should also be noted that the RVS always includes inter-municipal movements. For this reason, although in some tables these movements are published grouped by provinces or Autonomous Communities, it should be borne in mind that part of them have their origin and destination in municipalities of the same province or Autonomous Community, respectively.
The variables used are sex, age, place of birth, nationality and, of course, the origin and destination of the movement.
For territorial breakdowns, the official classification of the List of Municipalities, Provinces, Autonomous Communities and Cities and their codes is used.
For the variables nationality, country of birth and country of origin or destination, the standard list of countries of the INE is used.
It compiles all the residential variations recorded in the Municipal Register that have taken place during the reference year, whether their origin and/or destination is in the national territory or abroad.
Residential variations of both Spaniards and foreigners are taken into account, regardless of the legal residence status of the person involved. Law 4/1996 which modified Law 7/1985 Regulating the Bases of the Local Regime established the obligatory registration in the Municipal Register of all persons living in Spain, without making any distinction due to their nationality, nor requiring legal residence in Spain.
The target population of the statistics are all residential variations with origin and/or destination in Spain.
The RVS always includes inter-municipal movements.
The annual residential variations of the statistics do not refer to the number of people who carry out a residential variation, but to the number of variations carried out, since a citizen can change his residence from one municipality to another more than once in a year.
The statistics cover the whole national territory. Data are published at the national level, by Autonomous Communities, provinces, municipalities and islands.
The statistics is carried out on an annual basis, with results tables available on the web since 1998.
Microdata of the statistics since 1988 are also available on the web.
The series of domestic residential variations and registrations due to residential variations from abroad begin with the data for 1998.
The series of deregistrations due to residential variations with destination abroad begin with the data for 2002.
Number of residential variations.
The data refer to the calendar year covered by the statistics, i.e. all residential variations occurring during the reference year.
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2021
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 2021-2024, approved by Royal Decree 1110/2020, of 15 December, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2021-2024. (Statistics of the State Administration).
General municipal register regulations:
-Law 7/1985, of 2 April, Regulating Local Regime Bases, modified by Law 4/1996, of 10 January and by Law 14/2003, of 20 November.
-Royal Decree 2612/1996, of 20 December, amending the Regulation on Population and Territorial Demarcation of Local Entities approved by Royal Decree 1690/1986, of 11 July.
-Resolution of 17 February 2020, of the Presidency of the National Statistics Institute and of the General Direction of Territorial and Local Cooperation, by which technical instructions are issued to the Municipal Councils on the management of the Municipal Register.
-Resolution of 20 July 2018, of the Presidency of the National Statistics Institute and of the General Direction of Territorial and Local Cooperation, by which technical instructions are issued to the Municipal Councils on the annual revision of the Municipal Register and on the procedure for obtaining the proposal of official population figures.
The Statistical Law No. 12/1989 specifies that the INE cannot publish, or make otherwise available, individual data or statistics that would enable the identification of data for any individual person or entity. Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society
The Residential Variation Statistics is a statistical operation included within the National Statistical Plan, subject therefore to the Law of Public Statistical Function of 9 May 1989, and therefore, its data are protected by the Statistical Secrecy in all stages of its preparation.
The microdata disseminated are made anonymous and the codes of the municipalities of origin/destination and birth under 10,000 inhabitants are blanked out.
The advance release calendar that shows the precise release dates for the coming year is disseminated in the last quarter of each year.
The calendar is disseminated on the INEs Internet website (Publications Calendar)
The data are released simultaneously according to the advance release calendar to all interested parties by issuing the press release. At the same time, the data are posted on the INE's Internet website (www.ine.es/en) almost immediately after the press release is issued. Also some predefined tailor-made requests are sent to registered users. Some users could receive partial information under embargo as it is publicly described in the European Statistics Code of Practice
The data are disseminated annually.
The results of the statistical operations are normally disseminated by using press releases that can be accessed via both the corresponding menu and the Press Releases Section in the web
The results of the statistics are disseminated through 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.
Data can be accessed at https://www.ine.es/en/welcome.shtml through the link:
The microdata files of the Residential Variation Statistics are available on the INE website and can be downloaded free of charge by the user. The data are anonymized and information is provided on the variables:
- province and municipality (or country) of birth
- month and year of birth
- province and municipality (or country) of registration
- month and year of residential variation
- province and municipality (or country) of deregistration
- size of municipality of registration
- size of municipality of deregistration
-size of municipality of birth
For confidentiality, the codes of municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants are blanked out.
Interested users can request specific customised operations of information, which are carried out preserving in any case the confidentiality of the data, through the User Service Area at the following link:
Information is available at:
There are no quality studies or reports available. However, the information in sections 10.6 to 17 of this sheet can be considered as the user-oriented quality report.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
The preparation process of the statistics has established controls to detect and correct errors in order to guarantee its quality. The volume of errors detected is small and these are concentrated in statistical adjustments prior to the dissemination, being the percentage of registers in which some correction is made for some of its variables of around 0.18%.
In order to guarantee, as far as possible, that the variations included in the statistics really correspond to changes of residence, a contrast is also carried out of deregistrations abroad against later registrations. As a result, those deregistrations abroad for which it is detected that the inhabitant has a later registration in the same year are not counted.
The data come from the Municipal Registers of Inhabitants, which are administrative registers managed by each municipal council, in which a continuous updating and cleaning process of data is carried out.
The INE is responsible for the coordination of the municipal registers and of these with the PERE (Register of Spaniards Resident Abroad) and is in charge, among other tasks, of detecting errors and avoiding duplicity.
The main advantage of this statistic is that, when obtaining the data from a register, for each inhabitant the information of all the variables is available and therefore it would be possible to obtain data with all the crosses of variables desired. Also, as the exact address of each person is recorded, it would also be possible to disaggregate the information at any territorial level.
The only variable for which no data are published at the moment is the level of studies, as it does not have a good degree of reliability.
Among the users of the statistic it is worth highlighting:
· Ministries and other public bodies
· Territorial administrations (Autonomous Communities, provincial councils, municipal councils)
· Universities and research centres
· Press and specialised media
· Other INE units
· Congress and Senate: parliamentary questions
· International organisations: Eurostat, OECD, ...
The needs of users are focused on knowing the residential variations and are differentiated according to the level of territorial breakdown required (national, Autonomous Community, province or municipality) and the variables required in each case (distribution according to sex, age, nationality, origin, destination...)
In some occasions, user requests for information cannot be satisfied due to the need to safeguard statistical secrecy.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 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)
In the user satisfaction surveys carried out to date, the 'Population' sector in which the statistical operation is framed is assessed, which can provide guidance regarding the opinion of users on it.
The specific needs of users are taken into account when extending the information provided on the web with new data tables or microdata files, always respecting statistical confidentiality.
All the required information is available according to the relevant guidelines and regulations. Therefore, the mandatory available information rate is 100%.
The overall reliability of the statistics is conditioned to that of the base file which is used and which comes from the coordination of the municipal registers.
There are no sampling errors because it is the direct exploitation of a register.
The data come from an administrative register and all the accepted units have information, although there may be some specific errors that affect approximately 0.18% of the registers and that are cleaned in the different phases.
In the case of foreigners, the variables origin or destination of the movement in the external variations appear on many occasions as unknown, since these correspond to a large extent to registrations due to omission or deregistrations due to undue registration and deregistrations due to expiration.
When Spaniards move abroad, they must register in the Consular Register from which the Register of Spaniards Resident Abroad is compiled, and when this is contrasted with the INE municipal register database, the municipality of previous residence is identified and, consequently, the municipality of origin of the residential variation and vice versa.
For foreigners this is not possible, so the only way to know the residential variation is through the declaration of the citizen when completing the municipal registration form. If the citizen does not communicate the country of origin, the reason for registration in the Municipal Register is due to omission when in fact it is a change of residence. In the case of deregistrations abroad, for the same reason, the only way to register in the Municipal Register the deregistration as a change of residence abroad would be for the non-Spanish citizen to request it, which is not very common.
Another aspect to highlight is that in the case of Spaniards who move abroad, this is recorded in the Municipal Register only to the extent that they are registered in the Consular Registers, which does not always happen, hence some external residential variations of Spaniards may not be recorded.
Data are published on june t+1
The dissemination of the data is carried out in accordance with the structural statistics availability calendar that the INE prepares and publishes for each year.
All the data are comparable for any territorial breakdown up to municipal level as they all come from the municipal registers, which are governed by the same regulations and whose coordination is carried out by the INE.
The statistics data are comparable since 1998, therefore, the number of comparable elements of the time series is 24.
In 1996, a new management system was established for the municipal registers based on the computerisation of all of them and on their coordination by the INE. During the first years of implementation of the system, the results of the RVS are obtained directly from the exchange files that the Municipal Councils provide to the INE without contrasting with the existing database. However, from 2001 onwards, the statistics are obtained directly from the INE municipal register database, so that the municipality of origin may not be the one declared by the citizen, but the one that appears in the INE database.
Deregistrations due to residential variation with destination abroad are only counted from 2002 and therefore the number of comparable elements of the time series in this case is 19.
In the case of external residential variations, it is also necessary to take into account the influence of the inclusion in 2004 of registrations due to omission and deregistrations due to undue registration, which are considered, respectively, registrations from abroad in which the country of origin is not available, and deregistrations with destination abroad in which the country of destination is unknown.
Likewise, as of 2006 there have been changes due to the inclusion of deregistrations due to expiration, which affect non-EU foreigners without permanent residence authorisation.
For European Union citizens (and non-EU citizens with a permanent residence permit), a new residence verification procedure was also established in 2009, the effectiveness of which, as it is not a procedure established by law, was conditioned on the actions of the municipal councils. However, it is mandatory since 2015 as it is included in the Resolution of 30 January 2015, of the President of the National Statistics Institute and of the Director General of Coordination of Competences with the Autonomous Communities and Local Entities, by which technical instructions are issued to the Municipal Councils on the management of the Municipal Register and is currently reflected in the Resolution of 17 February 2020.
The Residential Variation Statistics is obtained from the registrations reflected in the INE municipal register database. However, if the net migratory balance is calculated as the difference between the registrations and deregistrations due to exterior residential variation, the balance obtained does not coincide with that which would be deducted as the difference between the population figures resulting from the Municipal Register and the natural increase produced during the year. These discrepancies are caused by the methodological aspects detailed in the document 'Comparability with the population figures of the Municipal Register', which can be consulted at:
All results are obtained from an administrative register and are consistent with each other.
Since the statistics data are obtained directly from the INE municipal register database, there are no costs associated with the collection or burden for the respondents.
The estimated budgetary appropriation necessary to finance this statistics foreseen in the 2022 Annual Programme is 39.25 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-.
The data that are published are final, they are not revised.
The data that are published are final, they are not revised.
The data of the statistics are obtained from the information that the citizens fill in in the Municipal Register and from the coordination that the INE carries out.
The Municipal Register is the administrative register where the residents of the municipality are registered. Every person living in Spain is obliged to register in the Municipal Register of the municipality in which they usually reside. Whoever lives in several municipalities should only register in the one in which they live for the longest time per year.
Its compilation, updating, revision and custody corresponds to the municipal councils, who must carry out the necessary actions and operations so that the data of their municipal registers match with reality.
Its management is carried out by the municipal councils in a computerised way and in the cases in which these lack the means, it is carried out by the Provincial Councils.
With the municipal registers resulting from the renewal of the registers referring to 1-5-1996 and the monthly variations produced since then, the INE has generated a database that is known as the Continuous Register.
Law 7/1985, of 2 April, regulating the Bases of the Local Regime and the Regulation on Population and Territorial Demarcation of Local Entities, establish that Municipal Councils must send, by computer or telematic means, the monthly variations that occur in the data in their Municipal Registers to the National Statistics Institute so that the latter, in compliance with the obligations imposed by article 17.3 of the aforementioned Law on Bases, carry out the appropriate checks in order to correct possible errors and avoid duplicity and so that the official figures resulting from the annual reviews can be declared official.
Municipal Councils are responsible for keeping their municipal registers permanently updated with the data declared by citizens and the data sent to them by the INE in its coordination function. In addition, they must carry out the necessary actions and operations to ensure that the data in their census matches with reality.
The Municipal Register is a permanently updated register from which the data are obtained in order to compile the Residential Variation Statistics. As it is a register, all the units considered contain information on all the variables for each inhabitant, although in the case of registrations due to omission and deregistrations due to undue registration and expiration, given the nature of the variation, the origin or destination of the movement, respectively, are unknown.
In some specific cases, certain invalid values may appear in the variables nationality, place of birth, origin or destination, to which an imputation process is applied when the information is not found by other means.
We also carry out a process of detection of possible errors in the variable date of birth, which is cleaned for those over 100 years.
The file from which the residential variations are obtained is subjected to a cleaning of the variables considered in the statistics so that there is no invalid values.
No seasonal adjustment, decomposition of time series or similar methods are performed.