The new demographic and social challenges in Spain: the aging process and the immigration

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1 International Geographical Union Commission GLOBAL CHANGE AND HUMAN MOBILITY The 4th International Conference on Population Geographies The Chinese University of Hong Kong (10-13 July 2007) The new demographic and social challenges in Spain: the aging process and the immigration Josefina Domínguez Mujica Raquel Guerra Talavera Research Group Social and Economic Geography University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)

2 New times, new demographic trends Demographic processes affect different world regions in different and often opposite ways. From the point of view of demographic transition and population structures, it is possible to establish eight large groups of countries according to their different levels of demographic evolution. Demographic database per geographical area ( ) REGION % of population under the age of 15 % of population over the age of 65 Total fertility rate Child death rates Japan Europe U.S.A., Canada, Australia & New Zealand China Latin America Southern and Southeast Asia Western Asia and North of Africa Sub-Saharan Africa Source: Personal compilation based on data from the United Nations Population Division (World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision).

3 New times, new demographic trends The most relevant characteristic of current international migrations is precisely the extremely high number of countries of origin, transit and destination involved, which means that a world map of migratory movements would display a strong trend towards the diversification of routes and of origin-destination connections.

4 Spain's demographic peculiarities within the European model From an interregional perspective, two dividing lines might be identified within Europe: one that separates western from eastern Europe, and another more subtle one that divides North and South western Europe. Since the 1990s the first one is drawn by the rise in child death rates and by the fall in life expectancy in most of the former soviet bloc countries. Within the second region, Mediterranean countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece ) displayed high fertility and demographic growth rates until the 1980s, in comparison to lower rates in Central and North European countries. However, in the last fifteen years the situation has been inverted and it is the countries in southern Europe that show the lowest synthetic fertility rates and, consequently, a greater aging pace, while in the north of Western Europe fertility rates are higher and the demographic aging has slowed down.

5 Spain's demographic peculiarities within the European model European Union Population Database (Projected crude rates over the period ) COUNTRY* Natural change Net migration Growth Bulgaria Latvia Romania Estonia Lithuania Hungary Czech Republic Poland Slovakia Slovenia Germany Denmark Finland Austria Belgium United Kingdom Netherlands France Sweden Ireland Luxembourg Italy Portugal Greece Spain Source: Personal compilation based on data from Eurostat (Long-term population projections at regional level. Statistics in focus. 28/2007). *Cyprus and Malta have been excluded on account of their special condition as island-states.

6 Spain's demographic peculiarities within the European model In Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, their roles as lands of emigration have diminished, whereas their roles as lands of immigration have became more pronounced.

7 A rapid and profound aging process The sharp drop in the general death and child death rates, the resulting longer longevity and the steep decline in fertility rates have favored the intensity of the demographic transition in Spain. Overmortality among the older male population ubfertility during the Spanish Civil War ( ) Postwar baby oom ( ) Impact of the migration on the swollen cohorts of young adults Gradual decline in the birth rates since 1975 Slight recovery in birth rates

8 The fertility and the demographic effects of the aging In Spain, the fall in fertility levels has been accompanied by a considerable delay in the average age of maternity, the verticalization of families and the destandardization of the patterns of young people s emancipation. Four different generations at the same family

9 Spain as a destination of international immigration The Spanish rate of net migration has been very high over the last few years, as a consequence of the attraction posed by its level of socio-economic development and its geostrategical location. Evolution of population according to nationality EVOLUTION INDEXED EVOLUTION (1996 = 100) Nationality Nationality YEAR Total population Spanish Foreign % foreign population Total population Spanish Foreign ,669,392 39,127, , ,852,650 39,215, , ,202,158 39,453, , ,499,790 39,575, , ,116,842 39,746,185 1,370, ,837,894 39,859,950 1,977, ,717,064 40,044,468 2,672, ,197,684 40,163,358 3,034, ,108,530 40,377,920 3,730, ,708,964 40,564,798 4,144, Source: Domínguez, J. et al., 2007.

10 New immigration patterns Spain is subject to the globalization of migration. It is affected by the current trend towards multidirectional simultaneous migratory flows. This map illustrates the origin and dimension of foreign population in Spain in 2006.

11 Demographic decline and renewal Thanks to immigration, Spain has recovered its population growth and birth rate. This is an effect known as substitution or replacement migration. The total increase in births was partly due to immigration, i.e. to the fertility of foreign mothers. As far as their contribution to the age structure is concerned, in the 25 to 34 years age group, immigrants play an important role and they are also beginning to play a greater more relevant role among the youngest age groups, both because of the processes of family reunion and because of the foreign women's contribution to the fertility rate. With regard to the death rate, it stays low on account of the rejuvenation of the population caused by immigration.

12 The labour market and a new system of transfers In the last years, immigrants have made increase in the number of economically active Spanish population and they help to sustain economic sectors that are vital for the development of the Spanish economy, as for example intensive farming, domestic service, and the building, hotel trade and commercial sectors. Intensive farming Tourism Building sector Domestic service

13 The labour market and a new system of transfers By accepting less skilled jobs, foreign immigrants have favored the dependency of young Spaniards, who delay their incorporation to the labour market in the hope of better job opportunities. Immigrants take up low-skilled jobs in the farming sector Spanish students sitting a university entrance exam

14 The labour market and a new system of transfers Over a third of the 12 percent increase in Spanish women's activity rate during the last decade is due to the phenomenon of immigration. For many Spanish women, the conciliation between job and family is achieved partially by means of the externalization of some domestic tasks and the care of dependants. President of an association of businesswomen An elderly Spanish woman's Colombian carer

15 The labour market and a new system of transfers It is estimated that in 2005 immigrants generated a direct surplus of about 5,000 million euros, 0.5% of Spain's GDP. This amounts to half of the total surplus of the Spanish Public Administration that year and it notably makes up for the effects of the process of demographic aging that causes a growing demand for retirement pensions and other health and assistance expenses. The latest studies suggest that 30% of the GDP's growth during the last decade is due to the process of immigration, and this percentage rises to 50% if only the last five years are taken into account. Immigration and population aging are factors or indicators that may act as explanatory variables for the changes in the Spanish labour market.

16 The impact of the demographic changes on the education structure In Spain, the fall in the fertility rate and the insufficient generational replacement has brought about a decline in the child population. In the other hand, the evolution of foreign students in Spain since 1993/1994 has been constant and since that school year there has been a remarkable rise of 765% to

17 Future perspectives of demographic evolution in Spain The aging of the Spanish population is practically an irreversible process, and that immigration can only delay it to a limited extent, among other reasons because the reproductive conduct of immigrant women in the future remains uncertain. As a consequence, the aging process will over the medium run (from 2025 to 2050) bring about an acute crisis caused by the interaction of the baby boom of the 1960s and 70s and the baby bust of the 1980s and beginning of the 90s.

18 Future perspectives of demographic evolution in Spain In an increasingly globalized world, it has become very difficult to make projections regarding migration matters. As far as migrations in the near future are concerned, as has happened with Spain over the last few years, some countries currently regarded as sending countries, like those immigrants in Spain come from (Morocco, Libya), could become receptor countries and not just countries of transit. The economic development of Eastern Europe might transform these states into receptor countries, changing their population balance. And the same may be said of some Latin American or Asian countries. Moreover, it is possible that the epicenter of world economy might shift towards Asia, with the competition of different countries of emerging economies (like China, for instance), towards which international migration flows from Asia or Africa might be redirected.

19 Conclusions The close relationship between immigration and demographic aging in Spain is of a junctural nature. After 2015, the forecast fall in the birth rate will bring about a negative natural growth, which will reproduce a situation in which Spain almost found itself in the first half of the 1990s, when the arrival of immigrants and their favorable effect on birth rates altered the scenario. From a demographic point of view, immigration has brought about a delay in the aging process while at the same time having a definite effect on the labour market (the incorporation of women to the labour market and a rise in the level of skilled jobs for nationals).

20 International Geographical Union Commission GLOBAL CHANGE AND HUMAN MOBILITY The 4th International Conference on Population Geographies The Chinese University of Hong Kong (10-13 July 2007) The new demographic and social challenges in Spain: the aging process and the immigration Josefina Domínguez Mujica Raquel Guerra Talavera Thanks you very much for your attention Research Group Social and Economic Geography University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)

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