The resident population in Catalonia as of 1 January 2017 was 7,496,276, according to the definitive data of the Population Estimates. This figure represents an increase of 47,944 people with respect to the year before (6.4 per 1,000 persons), confirming the trend begun the previous year. The main component of the population growth in 2016 was the foreign net migratory (estimated at 38,371 people), followed by natural growth of 5,684 people (68,973 births against 63,289 deaths) and a positive net migratory with the rest of Spain of 3,889 people.
The territorial analysis shows that the population grew in 25 counties and L'Aran, and fell in 16 counties. The counties with the highest growth were El Baix Penedès (12.5‰), El Gironès (11.1‰) and El Barcelonès (9.5‰). On the other hand, L'Alt Urgell (−10.2‰), El Baix Ebre (−9.9‰) and La Ribera d'Ebre (−9.1‰) were the counties whit the largest decreases, in relative terms.
As for ages, in 2016 the population grew in the 10-29 age groups (30,348 people), the 40-74 groups (65,354 people) and those 80 or above (11,341 people). On the other hand, the population decreased in the 0-9 age groups (9,882 fewer people), the 30-39 groups (41,886 fewer people) and the 74-79 group (7,331 fewer people).
The population ageing process continues, as the result of a combination of a low birth rate and long life expectancy, and since 1995 Catalonia has had a higher population of those 65 or over than those under 15. As of 1 January 2017, there were 117.5 people aged 65 or over for every 100 under 15 (ageing index). The percentage of the population aged 65 or over has risen from 18.5% in 2016 to 18.6% in 2017. The composition by age of those 65 or over is also growing older, with the number of those 85 or over for every 100 65 or over (elderly ageing index) rose from 16.1 in 2016 to 16.4 in 2017.
The purpose of the population estimates is to provide an accurate statistical estimate of the population when census data are not 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 population estimates is 1st January and 1st July. The data published here substitute the advance data published some months ago and broaden the territorial break-down.
The availability of the 2017 distribution by age and sex of the population based on the population estimates allows to obtain the classical measurements of structure by age 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).