The resident population of Catalonia rose by 3.2‰ in 2015 to reach a total of 7,448,332 inhabitants, according to postcensal population estimates. The increase is the result of natural growth of 5,584 persons (70,450 births minus 64,866 deaths), a migratory balance with the rest of Spain of 5,103 persons and a migratory balance with foreign countries of 12,891 persons.
The counties with highest growth were El Moianès (8.7‰), El Garraf (7.4‰) and El Vallès Occidental (6‰). On the other hand, El Priorat (−17.9‰), El Pallars Jussà (−13.8‰) and La Ribera d'Ebre (−13.7‰) lost the most population in relative terms.
The estimated migratory balance with foreign countries was the main driver of population growth in 2015. El Barcelonès, with a balance of 11,245 persons, was the clear leader among the group of 22 counties and L'Aran that had a positive migratory balance with foreign countries. Among the counties with a negative migratory balance with foreign countries, El Segrià (−634), La Selva (−242) and El Gironès (−105) are particularly noteworthy.
The natural growth was positive in Catalonia, but negative in more than half of the counties. The counties with highest natural growth were El Vallès Occidental (2,522), El Baix Llobregat (1,723) and El Gironès (755). In contrast, El Barcelonès (−815), El Baix Ebre (−203) and El Berguedà (−199) were the counties with the lowest natural growth.
The ageing of the population of Catalonia continued in 2015 as the result of a low birth rate and high life expectancy. There were significant differences in population ageing in different areas of the territory. Les Terres de l'Ebre (where there were 151.5 persons aged 65 or older for each 100 persons under 15) and L'Alt Pirineu i Aran (where there were 143.7) were the areas with the most aged population in Catalonia; in contrast, El Penedès and El Camp de Tarragona were the areas with the least aged population (100.7 and 98.7, respectively).
The purpose of the postcensal population estimates is to provide an accurate statistical estimate of the population when census data are not yet available, and to continue the homogeneous time series on the annual evolution of the population of Catalonia and its distribution by sex and age. The time reference of the postcensal population estimates is 1st July and 31st December. The data published here substitutes the advance data published some months ago and broaden the territorial break-down.
The availability of the 2015 distribution by age and sex of the population based on the postcensal estimates allows to obtain the classical structural measurements of ages and to update the structural demographic indicators (ageing of the population, ratio of children to women of fertile age, average age of the population, etc).