Revision of Municipal Register to 1 January of each year

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.

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 4/1996 of 10 January, by which Law 7/1985 of 2 April, Regulator of the Local Regimen Bases in relation to the municipal Register and its regulatory development is modified, approved by Royal Decree 2612/1996 of 20 December by which 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.

Once the said checks have been carried out, the National Institute of Statistics obtains a population figure for each municipality that is used to contrast the numerical results of the annual revision sent by the Town Councils according to what is established in article 81 of the Territorial Population and Demarcation Regulation of Local Entities. When an agreement cannot be reached, it defers to the Electoral Register Board for its report, in agreement with article 82.1 of the said regulation, the discrepancies with the population figure approved by the Town Councils.

The Electoral Register Board, in fulfillment of the functions attributed to it by article 17.4 of the Bases Law and article 85 of the Population Regulation gives information on the discrepancies between the Town Councils and the National Institute of Statistics as well as the proposal of official population figures from Spanish municipalities that the President of the National Institute of Statistics brings up for approval via Royal Decree.

Law 7/1985, Regulator of the Local Regimen Bases stated that in five years, in years ending in one and six, the Town Councils should carry out a Register Renewal via the ex-novo elaboration of its registers for which field trips were conducted to distribute registry sheets in all dwellings and collecting them once filled in by families. With the entry into force of Law 4/1996 a new system of register management was established via which the Registry renewals were suppressed. The 1996 renewal was the last one to be carried out. The first Register revision in agreement with the new management system referred to 1 January 1998.

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
  • Sex
  • Usual domicile
  • Nationality
  • Place and date of birth
  • National Identity Document Number or in the case of foreigners, the document that replaces it.



The country is divided administratively into Autonomous Communities, provinces, municipalities and other territorial local entities below municipal, whose delimitation, denomination, organisation and competences are described and regulated in detail in the legislation in force on local regimes.

From a statistical point of view this division is insufficient to get to know in what form the population in the municipalities is in. It must go down to a subdivision of the same, that does not possess any official character but is very traditional: the collective and singular population entities as well as the nuclei and scattered of the latter.


Population entities

A Singular population entity is understood to be any habitable area of the municipal terminality, inhabited or exceptionally inhabited, clearly differentiated within the same and which is known by a specific denomination that identifies it without possibility of confusion.

An area is considered habitable when there are habited dwellings or in a condition to be inhabited.

An area is considered clearly differentiated when the buildings and dwellings belonging to the same area may be perfectly identified on the ground and whole area is known by a denomination.

Consequently, the seasonal residential urbanisations and areas may be singular population entities even when they are inhabited for certain periods of the year.

No dwelling may belong simultaneously to two or more singular entities. A municipality may consist of one or more singular population entities.

If in a municipality there do not exist clearly differentiated areas the municipality will be considered a unique entity.

As an intermediate unit between the singular population entity and the municipality there exist, in some regions groups of singular entities (parishes, brotherhoods, councils, standing committees and others) that make up a collective population entity with its own personality and markedly historical origin.

The singular and collective population entities must not be confused with the local territorial entity below municipality (lesser local entities), defined by Law 7/1985, of 2 April, Regulator of the Local Regimen Bases as a unit for management, decentralised administration and political representation within the municipality.


Population nuclei and scattered

A population nucleus is considered to be a set of at least ten buildings, that are made up of streets, squares and other urban roads. As an exception, the number of buildings will be less than 10, as long as the population that lives there exceeds 50 inhabitants. Included in the nucleus are those buildings that, being isolated, measure more than 200 metres from the exterior limits of the mentioned set while in the determination of the said distance the land occupied by industrial or commercial installations, parks, gardens, sports areas, cemeteries, car parks and others must be excluded as well as canals or rivers that may be crossed by bridges.

The buildings or dwellings of a singular population entity that may not be included in the concept of a nucleus are considered as a scattered.

A singular population unit may have one or more nuclei or even none at all, if all this is found in a scattered.

No dwelling may belong simultaneously to two or more nuclei or to a nucleus and a scattered.



Traditionally the relation of population entities and nuclei of each terminal municipality were updated at the time of the Register Population Censuses and Renewals.

Law 4/1996 of 10 January, by which the modification of Law 7/1985 of 2 April, Regulator of the Local Regimen Bases and Regulation of population and territorial demarcation approved by Royal Decree 2612/1996 of 20 December is carried out, established a new continuous management system of the Municipal Register that meant the informatisation of all Municipal Registers and its coordination by the National Institute of Statistics.

According to this system, the town councils issue the INE with a copy in IT support of the Municipal Register made up in the renewal of 1996 as well as the monthly variations that occur to the data in their Municipal Registers. The INE then carries out the appropriate checks to detect existing errors and avoid registration duplications occurring among them.

In agreement with article 76 of the quoted regulations the Town Councils will revise, once a year, the relation of population entities and nuclei and will send them to the National Institute of Statistics who will publish them annually.

The population of each one of the population units will be obtained directly from the existing files in the INE that contain the recording of the Municipal Register.

This publication contains the systematised and coded relation of entities, nuclei and groups of each one of the municipalities and population broken down by the sex of each one of them.

The technical difficulties for more than 8,100 town halls to computerise their Municipal Registers (around 5,000 municipalities have less than 1,000 inhabitants) meant that some municipalities would not have sent their registry files until 2002. Even though a municipal population was obtained, it could not be obtained at levels below municipal.

In these cases the population of these population units appears as ..



The code of population entities and nuclei is made up of eleven corresponding digits, the first two correspond with the province code and the three following ones with that of the municipality within the province, the sixth and seventh to the collective entity within the municipality, the eighth and ninth to the singular entity within the collective one if existing or within the municipality in the contrary case. The two final ones correspond with the nucleus or scattered, the code for the latter being 99.

Population entity codes were assigned by alphabetical order within each municipality during the 1981 population census and maintained up to now. A code correlating to the last one existing has been assigned to the newly created entities while the codes of entities that have disappeared have not been reused unless an entity existing after 1981 has been registered for which the code that was existing on that deregistration date has been assigned.

The population nuclei were recoded in 1991 in alphabetical order within each singular entity.

In the same way as for the entities a code correlating to the last existing one has been assigned to the newly created nuclei. The nuclei codes have not been reused.

For more information on coding, check the following link 'interpretation of results'.


Dissemination plan

The listing is published of the entities, nuclei and dispersed items for each municipality, as well as the population broken down by sex for each one of them.


Frequency of dissemination

The results of this operation are disseminated annually.