Spain unemployment
Unemployment has led to younger people migrating abroad in search of job opportunities.REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Spain's population is dwindling, with records showing more deaths than births in the first half of 2015. According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), deaths outnumbered births by more than 19,000.

The current population of Spain is approximately 46 million but the INE predicts a decrease over the next half century. "If the current demographic trends continue, Spain will lose one million inhabitants in the next 15 years and 5.6 million in the next 50 years," they claimed.

This fluctuation in population is being partly blamed on migration of younger people to countries with better prospects, as Spain continues to suffer from recession and high unemployment. The lack of financial stability is also deterring women from having children, as seen by the rise in the average child-bearing age from 31.7 to 33 years.

The drop in birth rates has been attributed to the "reduction of women at child-bearing age". The rise in life expectancy has also affected the previous balance of births and deaths.

Spain's birth rate has fallen dramatically since Franco's death

"We have seen an incredible decline in the birth rate, which has been cut by half since 1975, and this trend is here to stay," said Jesús María Andrés, of the University of Palencia, which conducted a study on the consequences on the lack of demographic policies.

"We are witnessing a rapid decline in births and it seems that nobody cares. In the short term it is a relief because it means less spending for families and for the state, and nobody is complaining because no one stops to think about the future consequences," Julio Vinuesa, a demographer at Madrid's Autónoma University said of the current situation.

Also, the migration of Spain's younger population from smaller villages has left a large part of the countryside either abandoned or with a populated of mainly older people.

As of 2014, the population rate of immigrants was -2 per 1000 inhabitants. While 332,522 immigrants entered the country that year, 417,191 locals migrated abroad.