Changes in migration patterns in Barcelona

Based on the official register of people residing in Barcelona, the Municipal Data Office (OMD) has compiled a provisional report on migration flows for the city during the Covid-19 pandemic. The initial figures show that emigration increased by 8% between June and October, while immigration dropped by 43.7% compared to the same period for the previous year.

27/02/2021 10:09 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The Municipal Data Office (OMD) has produced a report entitled Barcelona’s migratory movement in times of Covid-19, offering an approximate reading of the people no longer on the city’s register of residents in the first nine months of 2020.

The report does not provide a reliable vision of the real-time evolution of the population as there are a series of movements which are reflected with a delay or not updated regularly. This means it remains to be seen in the coming months if these figures and patterns are consolidated.

Even so, the provisional data show that from January to September 2020 the city bucked the trend of recent years and saw its population drop, with the number of registered residents falling by 43,094 people. Barcelona’s estimated population as of 1 October last year was 1,654,678 people.

The report shows that emigration is higher than in previous years. Between June and October, emigration from the city increased by 8% compared to the same period last year, while immigration dropped significantly, by 43%.

In particular, there was a preference for people leaving the city in favour of municipalities with smaller populations (under 50,000) and away from the metropolitan area. This migration appears to be people who have left the city to go and live in a second home and who essentially come from areas with higher incomes.


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