SPAIN’S population decreased for the first time in five years during 2020 with drop blamed on deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Preliminary figures released by Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) on Tuesday showed that the number of inhabitants in the country dropped by 106,146, or 0.2% during 2020.

Spain’s population at the end of 2020 stands at 47.34 million with Spanish citizens counting for 41.94 million of the total, a decline of 79,815 people on a year earlier.

Government data puts the official number of those who died from Covid-19 at 50,837 during 2020 but the new population statistics give a clearer picture.

According to the INE report, 71,000 excess deaths occurred in 2020 compared with other recent years.

However, one uptick in the population numbers was a rise in British citizens registering as residents in Spain during 2020, as Brits rushed to legalise their status ahead of the Brexit deadline.

The number of Britons jumped by 17,137, or 6.5% swelling the official population of UK nationals resident in Spain to a total of 381,448 by the end of the Transition Period on December 31, 2020.

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