Catalonia sees rise in emigration during first half of 2012

In the first half of 2012, more than 37,000 inhabitants have left Catalonia taking into account the balance between immigration and emigration. This figure represents half the state total, having lost 74,000 residents. These figures demonstrate that Catalonia is experiencing the highest emigration rate in Spain, which can be attributed to a number of factors including the growing tendency for graduates to seek employment abroad.


July 19, 2012 06:43 PM

Barcelona (ACN).-37,178 people have left Catalonia in the first half of 2012, taking into account the balance of immigration and emigration. These figures make up half the state total of 74,000 emigrants, resulting in Catalonia experiencing the highest rate of emigration in the whole of Spain and can be attributed to a number of factors including the growing tendency for graduates to seek employment abroad. The figures also reveal a reduction in arrivals to Catalonia, further intensifying the effect of emigration on the migration balance in Catalonia.

The International Federation of Catalan Organisations said of these findings that regrettably, “Catalonia has become, for the first time ever, the main area of emigration". According to the organisation, the majority of emigrants are young, well qualified university graduates aiming to find employment abroad where there are more opportunities, especially within the European Union. Although many countries are experiencing problems with youth unemployment, the statistics for Spain are particularly striking with more than 50% of young people currently unemployed. Young gradates are therefore much more inclined to leave Catalonia for European countries where there are more opportunities for young and well qualified individuals such as the United Kingdom and Germany.

Those with dual citizenship are exercising their rights to live in another country and other emigrates are from a varied group including the unskilled, spontaneously seeking their fortune abroad in the Europe. Up until recently, the autonomous community has been a popular area for immigration to due its opportunities for employment, especially in the industrial sectors. Those who had previously found employment in Catalonia in the past are now without a job. The current pressures of unemployment are forcing many previous immigrants to Catalonia to leave.

By municipality, 33,360 people left Barcelona in the first half of 2012, making up the majority of emigration. From other regions: 2174 people left Girona, 1283 people left Tarragona and 360 people left Lleida.