Spain will lose a tenth of its population in 40 years if current demographic trends persist, according to projections released Monday by the National Statistics Institute, or INE.
The population is forecast to shrink from 46.2 million now to 45 million in 2022 and to 41.5 million in 2052, a decline of 10.2 percent.
People over 64 will make up 37 percent of that reduced population, the INE said.
Demographers expect the number of births to fall 20 percent over the next decade due to the progressive reduction in the number of women of child-bearing age.
Spaniards' life expectancy will continue to increase and by the year 2051 the average will be 86.9 years for men and 90.7 years for women, which means almost eight and six years longer, respectively, than at present.
Net migration will be negative again this year by 181,479 people as a result of the 17.7-percent drop in immigrant arrivals and a 9.9-percent increase in the number of those leaving Spain, some 558,175 people.
INE notes that the current trend of Spaniards to emigrate abroad will continue so that over the next 10 years approximately 5.2 million people will leave Spain. EFE