PensionersSPAIN’S economic crisis could be contributing to a long-term decline in its population, where deaths outnumbered births by 19,000 in the first half of this year, INE statistics show.

The population has been shrinking since 2012 as the recession pushed young people to seek work abroad, and demographers say the crossover of the birth and death rates could accelerate the decline.

Spain hasn’t consistently experienced more deaths than births since the civil war in 1936-39.

The INE estimates Spain’s population will shrink by 5.6 million over the next 50 years from its current 46 million.

It now has the world’s 10th oldest population, with an average age of 43.2 years. That is seen reaching fourth place and 50.1 years by 2030, according to the United Nations.

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