The Spatial Distribution of Population in Spain: An Anomaly in European Perspective

38 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2020

See all articles by Eduardo Gutiérrez Chacón

Eduardo Gutiérrez Chacón

Banco de España

Enrique Moral-Benito

Banco de España; Charles III University of Madrid

Daniel Oto‐Peralías

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Roberto Ramos

Banco de España

Date Written: August 21, 2020

Abstract

We exploit the GEOSTAT 2011 population grid with a very high 1-km2 resolution to document that Spain presents the lowest density of settlements among European countries. We uncover that this anomaly cannot be accounted for by adverse geographic and climatic conditions. Using techniques from spatial econometrics, we identify the clusters that exhibit the lowest densities within Spain after controlling for geo-climatic factors: these areas mainly belong to Teruel, Zaragoza, Ciudad Real, Albacete, Sevilla and Asturias. We also explore the attributes that characterize the municipalities located in these low-density areas: larger population losses during the 1950-1991 rural exodus, higher shares of local-born inhabitants, longer distances to the province capital, higher shares of population employed in agriculture, and larger increases in regionalist vote after the Great Recession.

Keywords: economic geography, Spain

JEL Classification: R10

Suggested Citation

Gutiérrez Chacón, Eduardo and Moral-Benito, Enrique and Oto‐Peralias, Daniel and Ramos, Roberto, The Spatial Distribution of Population in Spain: An Anomaly in European Perspective (August 21, 2020). Banco de Espana Working Paper No. 2028, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3678495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3678495

Eduardo Gutiérrez Chacón (Contact Author)

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014
Spain

Enrique Moral-Benito

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014
Spain

Charles III University of Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Daniel Oto‐Peralias

Universidad Pablo de Olavide ( email )

Seville

Roberto Ramos

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014
Spain

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