The population of Spain fell for the third year in succession during 2014 according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) on Thursday, Xinhua reported.
The ongoing effects of the economic crisis are clear to see as the population of Spain stood at 46,439,864 on January 1, 2015, 72,335 less than at the start of January 2014.
The main reason for this is that 409,343 people, among them 78,785 Spaniards, packed their bags to live abroad, mainly due to the lack of employment opportunities.
Although 307,035 people arrived in Spain (among them 41,287 returning Spaniards) and there were 29,974 more births than deaths in Spain, this was not enough to maintain population numbers.
The number of Spanish citizens in the country actually increased despite the fact just over 37,000 more Spaniards abandoned their homeland than returned. This is because 205,870 people who came to the country from elsewhere were granted Spanish nationality.
Partly as a consequence of this the number of foreign nationals in Spain fell by 229,207 to 4,447,852.
Meanwhile 2014 saw the arrival of 29,968 Romanians, 20,163 Moroccans and 14,955 Italians, although it should be added than 57,373 Romanians and 32,487 Moroccans also returned to their homelands.
12 of Spain's 17 regions saw their population decline, although the Balearic and Canary Islands saw a rise in their number of inhabitants along with the southern autonomous community of Andalusia.