A LEADING study by a UK professor on European population figures has revealed that Spain is one of the most densely populated countries in the EU.
Alasdair Rae, Professor in Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield has compiled a table of population densities across Europe.
Professor Rae has created a unique method of measurement so-called ‘lived in density’ which separates specific areas of Europe into square kilometres.
This gives a much more accurate picture compared to simply dividing land mass and total population.
At first glance, Spain has a very sparse population, as little as 93 people per square kilometre.
This gives the impression that it is a very sparsely populated country, however using the more accurate method i.e. only studying areas where people actually live, Spain suddenly tops the table as one of the busiest in Europe.
According to Eurostat figures and Rae’s research, this is down to the fact that just 13% of Spain’s 505,000 square kilometre land mass is populated.
However that 13% holds two of the most densely populated cities in Europe, Barcelona and Madrid.
In fact, Barcelona holds the crown as the city with the highest person per square kilometre count in Europe with a whopping 53,000.
Using Rae’s methods, as a whole country, Spain records 737 people per ‘lived in’ square kilometre, fourth only to the independent states of Monaco, Andorra and Malta.
The depopulation of Spain’s rural areas has long been a hot topic for the government, and one in which Pedro Sanchez has taken very seriously.
Many rural and remote areas lack significant infrastructure to maintain viable livelihoods, leaving younger generations to seek work in the larger cities.
The new coalition government has pledged in recent months to invest millions of euros into rural industry and infrastructure.
High speed internet connections, improvements in road networks and better public transport are all part of the governments manifesto to try to even out the population spread and keep rural communities alive.