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Continuous Register
Official population figures Annual revision of the Municipal Register
Statistical use of the register

Top Continuous 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:

a) Name and Surname

b) Sex

c) Usual domicile

d) Nationality

a) Place and date of birth

f) 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 reviews may be declared official.

Top Official population figures 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 25 October 2005 with the complete technical procedure is available in the BOE.

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.

Dissemination plan:

The official population figures, referring to 1 January each year, are published on a municipality level, broken down by sex.

Periodicity of dissemination:

The results of this operation are disseminated annually.

Top Municipal Register: statistical use

The population figures coming from the municipal register revision to 1 January of the different Spanish municipalities are declared official by means of Royal Decree.

Based on the information used for this purpose the files that are used to carry out the statistical operation that is exhaustive are generated, in other words by studying the total registers contained in the registry files. Here validity controls of the different variables have been carried out, applying the Automatic Filtering and Imputation System (DIA) to all of them, giving rise to the final files which is the base from which the information is obtained.

Dissemination plan:

The population data is presented according to the different variables included in the Municipal Register that are of statistical use. They are the following:

Periodicity of dissemination:

The results of this operation are disseminated annually.


Until 2002, in some cases, there is no exact coincidence between the figures derived from the files and those approved officially for which it is necessary to use correction factors, calculated on a register level, that on occasions give rise to differences in some units between the official figures and those that feature in the tables.

In some provinces it has not been possible that the INE has all municipality files when starting the statistical operation of the register for which the information for these municipalities does not appear in the tables obtained on a municipal level.

In view of all of the above, the information generated on a provincial, autonomous and national level contains the population of the municipalities mentioned distributed by means of the application of correction factors.

However, as of 2003 these deficiencies have been corrected, and it has not been necessary since then to use correction factors, and there being a total match between the official figures and those existing in the operation tables.

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